Lumpectomy (Breast Conservation Surgery)

Breast cancer affects millions of women. Whether or not you are a candidate for a lumpectomy depends on many factors, including the size of your tumor, the size of your breast, the number of cancer sites within the breast and whether you can undergo subsequent radiation treatments. At Providence, we’re focused to ensure you receive the proper treatment for your breast cancer.

Used for treating malignant tumors and breast cancer, a lumpectomy is the surgical removal of a small section of breast tissue.

The goal of the operation is to save as much breast tissue and sensation as possible by removing only the tumor plus a small surrounding area of normal tissue. It is an effective option for patients with Stage 0, 1 or 2 breast cancers.

A lumpectomy for cancer can also be called segmental or partial mastectomy since part of the breast is removed and special attention is paid to margins. The procedure is almost always followed by radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

The operation is performed as an outpatient surgical procedure and administered under general or local anesthesia, depending on the location of the tumor.

Before the procedure, the location of your lump is detected through a biopsy. Often, a guide wire is placed in the breast to help ensure the precise location of the lump.

For those whose cancers are too large for a lumpectomy to be performed without causing significant changes in the appearance of the breast, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is sometimes used to shrink the cancer before lumpectomy.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision directly over the location of the tumor. The surgeon then removes the tumor and a small fraction of surrounding tissue and proceeds to suture the small incision. Incisions are often small enough to be hidden, and once healed, may even be difficult to see.

The removed tissue is immediately examined to ensure it does not contain cancerous cells. Often, surgeons also remove lymph nodes located near your breast to detect if the cancer has spread.

As with any surgical procedure, the lumpectomy also carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection of the incision, minor pain and tenderness, slight swelling and a change in the appearance of the breast.

Our team of surgeons, breast-imaging specialists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists work together to ensure optimal outcomes for women who choose this treatment.