BREAST CANCER SURGERY
Breast cancer surgery or lump removal is the surgical procedure to remove a cancerous lump inside the breast. It can also be referred to as a lumpectomy.
A biopsy can confirm if a lump in the breast is cancerous. The goal of the procedure is to remove the lump/tumor and some healthy tissue around the tumor to ensure that all the cancer cells are completely gone.
A mastectomy, which is a complete surgical removal of the breast, may also be done. Proof indicates that a lumpectomy is just as effective as a mastectomy in the early stages of breast cancer.
Why a breast cancer surgery (lump removal) is performed
Lumpectomy is performed to prohibit a cancerous tumor from spreading to other parts of your body. The prerequisites for a lumpectomy are size and stage of the tumor and certain patient characteristics such as the size of your breast.
A lumpectomy is a less invasive procedure than a mastectomy, which is why it is preferred by doctors. In a lumpectomy, your doctor takes a part of the breast, which leaves much of your breast’s outlook and sensations in place. This permits for enhanced breast symmetry. But you may need radiation or chemotherapy following a lumpectomy to make sure that all cancer cells have been destroyed.
The risks of a breast cancer surgery (lump removal)
Just like most surgical proceduresa lumpectomy has the risks of allergic reaction, bleeding, and infection.
After a lumpectomy, your breast may be numb if the nerves were affected. The shape of your breast may have slight changes. And there may be tenderness and temporary swelling after surgery.
If radiation therapy is needed after a lumpectomy, it is done five times per week for five to seven weeks after surgery. The effects of radiation may include fatigue and skin changes like redness and burning.
Before a breast cancer surgery (lump removal)
After several appointments with your doctor, which will include physical examinations and imaging with X-rays or mammography in other to confirm the size and shape of the tumor. A decision to have a lumpectomy would be taken.
A few days before the surgery, you’ll meet with your prospective surgeon. During this meeting, tell doctor about any allergies and medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements. You also mention if you’re pregnant or you think you may be pregnant.
You may be advised to stop taking any blood thinners up to a week before your surgery. This cuts down your risk of bleeding. You will be required to fast and avoid ingesting liquids for up to 8 to 12 hours before surgery.
How a breast lump removal is performed
Before the procedure, you will be required to change into a hospital gown and anesthesia be given. If local anesthesia is used, you may be given a sedative to relax during the procedure. If you’re given general anesthesia, you’ll be in a painless sleep for the duration of the entire procedure.
Your surgeon will begin by identifying the tumor. During your biopsy, a metal marker, or clip, may have placed close to the site. If that’s the case, a thin wire will be used to locate the clip. This wire assists in directing your surgeon to the precise site for the incision.
Your surgeon will take away the tumor and some healthy cells within the tumor. This ensures that all the cancer cells are taken out. The entire sample is then carried to a laboratory for testing.
During surgery, your doctor may also remove lymph nodes from underneath your arm on the side of your breast. They will be tested to see if the cancer has spread.
Following the successful evacuation of the tumor and any lymph nodes, the incision will be closed with stitches and bandaged.
After a breast cancer Surgery (lump removal)
At the end of the procedure, you’ll be taken to the recovery room. Your typical signs will be observed while you wake up from the anesthesia. When you wake up, you can anticipate some pain in the incision site. You’ll be given analgesics for the pain.
In the weeks following surgery, you’ll need to minimize your activities. It takes time to heal. It’s recommended to follow your doctor’s instructions for care after surgery.
You will need to look after yourself at home. The stitches may dissolve voluntarily or your doctor will remove them during a follow-up appointment. If radiation therapy is necessary, it normally starts within a few weeks after a lumpectomy procedure.
In certain situations, depending on the size of the lump removed, you may choose to have breast reconstruction surgery. This is done after all radiation therapy is complete. However, most people don’t need reconstruction after this type of surgery. That is one of the advantages of lumpectomy.
If you have a large tumor was removed and you are apprehensive about having symmetrical breasts, talk to your doctor about options before surgery. A mastectomy may be recommended. A mastectomy may also be considered if you’re concerned about the cancer returning or if you don’t want radiation.
You might require additional surgeries if the whole tumor wasn’t taken out completely during the initial surgery.
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