Lumpectomy is surgery to remove cancer. It's a breast-conserving surgery, which means your breast remains intact. If you're having a lumpectomy, you'll probably also have radiation therapy.
You may have two incisions. One will be near the tumor site. The other may be under the arm, near the lymph nodes.
A week or more before the procedure, you will have an exam and routine tests. Before surgery:
- Sign any consent forms.
- Tell your healthcare provider about any medications, herbs, or supplements that you are taking.
- Avoid eating or drinking for 8-12 hours before your surgery.
- Arrange for a trusted adult to drive you home after surgery.
- Bring a soft shirt that buttons in front to wear home.
- Talk to the anesthesia care provider. He or she will explain how you will be kept free of pain during surgery.
Your surgeon will make an incision near the tumor site. The tumor and a surrounding margin of normal tissue will be removed. A second incision may also be made under the arm to remove some of the nearby axillary lymph nodes. These are checked to see if the cancer has spread to them. When the surgery is finished, the incisions will be closed using stitches.
When to Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following after surgery:
- Fever of 101.0°F or higher
- Increased pain, warmth, drainage, swelling, or redness at the incision
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest or calf
- Bleeding that soaks the dressing
Right After Surgery
You will wake up in the recovery room. You may have an IV (intravenous) line for fluids and medications. Pain medications will be given to you as needed. A nurse will check your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. You'll likely go home the same day.