What Is a Lumpectomy
A lumpectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a small area of breast tissue that is cancerous or suspected to be cancerous. The lumpectomy procedure is known by several names, including breast conservation surgery, excisional biopsy and partial mastectomy.
Lumpectomy surgery is typically performed by a surgical oncologist, a physician who specializes in the treatment of cancer with surgical interventions. The surgery can be performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis. If general anesthesia is used, the patient typically remains in the hospital overnight. If local anesthesia is used, the patient may go home the same day as the surgery.
This surgery is typically reserved for women who have a single, relatively small area of tissue that must be removed. Women with a large mass may need to have significantly more breast tissue removed, which often requires a more aggressive approach such as a mastectomy.
While a lumpectomy is less disfiguring than a mastectomy and typically does not require reconstructive plastic surgery afterward, a lumpectomy can cause significant changes in the appearance of the breast if a large amount of tissue is taken. In addition to the scar or scars left by surgery, there may be a visible change in skin texture over the site. There may also be an obvious lack of tissue in the area, even after the skin heals.