What to Expect Before, During and After Lumpectomy

What happens throughout lumpectomy procedures?

Southlake, Texas, July 13, 2020 – Lumpectomy is a surgical removal of cancer from the breast. It only focuses on the tumor and the small rim of tissues around it, leaving most of the breast skin and tissues in place. Often, the general shape of the breast remains intact. Other names used to describe lumpectomy are; partial mastectomy, wide excision, and breast-conserving surgery. 

Most women choose lumpectomy over mastectomy so as to keep their breast and retain its shape as much as possible. However, there are changes associated with a lumpectomy as your breast will look and feel different. There may scarring and some numbness based on the procedure performed.

What to expect before lumpectomy

On the surgery day,  you’ll be required to change into a hospital gown and wait in the pre-operative room. If the tumor cannot be seen or felt, your surgeon will order a procedure before the actual surgery to locate and mark it using a mammogram or ultrasound.

You’ll be taken into the anesthesia room. A nurse will insert an intravenous infusion (IV) line in your arm and tape it in place. Afterward, you’ll be given relaxing medication through the IV line.

What happens during lumpectomy

Lumpectomy surgery should take around 15-40 minutes.  To minimize bleeding, your surgeon will use an electric scalpel that uses heat. Most surgeons use curved incisions that follow the natural curve of your breast. 

For an unseen or unfelt tumor,  your surgeon will remove it along with a rim of healthy tissue around it.  A rubber tube will surgically be inserted into your breast area to collect excess fluid that may accumulate in the space where the tumor was located.

What happens after lumpectomy

You’ll be moved to a recovery room after the surgery, where your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure will be monitored. As you start waking up, you may be given pain medication. Also, you’ll be taught how to dress your incision and how you can empty the fluid from the detachable Drain if you are required to leave the hospital with it still in tact.

Most surgeons use sutures that dissolve over time. There’s no need to remove them. Your surgeon will show you an exercise routine you can perform to help with the numbness of your arms’ side, which had the lumpectomy.