Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy

Lumpectomy Vs Mastectomy

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What is a lumpectomy?

A lumpectomy, often known as a partial mastectomy, is a breast cancer surgery that involves the removal of the tumor and a typical margin of healthy breast tissue surrounding it. Because your natural breast is unaffected, doctors consider lumpectomy to be breast-conserving surgery. Radiation to the breast tissue is typically advised after a lumpectomy procedure to help prevent cancer from returning to the breast.Invest in your health, invest in a brighter future. Our comprehensive medical programs deliver real results, while you indulge in the beauty and serenity of our destination.

Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy

Who are the best candidates for lumpectomy?

A lumpectomy may be appropriate for you if:

  • Your breast is just affected by cancer in one location.
  • The size of the tumor is smaller when compared to your breast size.
  • After the tumor is removed, your doctor is optimistic that there will be enough tissue left over to remodel your breast.
  • You can complete your radiation treatment.

There are several conditions that may require mastectomy operation instead of lumpectomy surgery. To learn about them continue reading Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy.

What is the pre-operational period look like?

The specifics of your condition, such as the size or location of a tumor, may have an impact on how your breast will look following surgery. For instance, if the size of the tumor is big oncoplastic lumpectomy will be performed. Along with the radiologist, your surgeon will analyze your imaging and create a surgical plan that focuses on eliminating the entire cancerous area.

Before surgery, it’s crucial to discuss potential changes to your breast with your healthcare professional. What alternatives there are for breast surgery is one issue that your doctor can explain to you. Before the treatment, your doctor will go over the specifics with you so you feel confident in your care. If there is anything you don’t understand or are unsure about, ask your provider to clarify. You must heed all directions from your doctor regarding your health and safety, including when to stop taking particular drugs prior to surgery.Invest in your health, invest in a brighter future. Our comprehensive medical programs deliver real results, while you indulge in the beauty and serenity of our destination.

What is an oncoplastic lumpectomy?

The oncoplastic lumpectomy procedure, also known as oncoplastic surgery, combines plastic surgery methods with the removal of the tumor to improve the patient’s appearance. In other words, an oncoplastic lumpectomy is a reconstructive procedure performed after a lumpectomy to address potential aesthetic issues with the breast. Typically, it takes place concurrently with a lumpectomy.

After cancer has been removed, surgeons can remodel the breast using a variety of different oncoplastic techniques. These options are specific to the breasts, body, and preferences of each woman as well as the size and location of the cancer cell. Oncoplastic surgery frequently requires reducing the volume of the other, healthy breast in order to match the cancer breast size. Techniques for oncoplastic surgery are typically utilized to:

  • Avoid “dents,” and reposition adjacent breast tissue to fill in the empty space left behind after cancer has been removed. This will also make the scar less noticeable.
  • Surgically remove the cancerous breast tissue while also undergoing a breast lift, breast reduction, or both.

What is the procedure of lumpectomy?

Lumpectomy surgery is often an outpatient procedure (patients go home the same day of the surgery). The actual surgery typically takes one hour to complete. The procedure is as follows,

  • Breast cancer cannot be seen by the surgeon since it is the same color as breast tissue. Thus, cancer must be marked before surgery to assist the surgeon.
  • A small chip or wire is inserted into the breast cancer by the radiologist immediately before surgery in order to localize the malignancy in the breast.
  • Your doctor skillfully removes the tumor along with a margin of healthy breast tissue during a lumpectomy.
  • To ensure that no cancer cells are left behind, surgeons remove a narrow border of good breast tissue from around the tumor.
  • To retain as much of your natural breast as possible, medical professionals pay attention to removing only the tissue required for treating cancer.
  • The pathology results of the surgery (final size of the malignancy and if there are clear margins) do take around seven to ten days to determine because the surgeon cannot see cancer and the pathologist cannot adequately analyze cancer at the time of surgery.
  • In order to lessen your pain following surgery, the surgeon will probably inject medicine into the operative region.
  • Little marking clips will also be inserted into the lumpectomy site by the surgeon to let the radiation oncologist know where to direct the radiation.
  • The breast tissue is then rejoined using internal, dissolvable stitches.

Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy


What is the purpose of radiotherapy following the lumpectomy operation?

After a lumpectomy, the majority of patients receive radiation therapy to eradicate any tiny cancer cells that may have persisted. For women with breast cancer, this combination is a common therapeutic option. It successfully treats cancer while retaining more of your breast’s natural appearance.

What happens if cancer continues spreading beyond the breast?

Your surgeon might inspect or remove lymph nodes as part of the surgery to see whether cancer has spread outside of the breast. You might receive a little dose of radioactive material or a blue dye injection near your nipple. This informs your surgeon about which nodes to remove (sentinel lymph node biopsy). In order to extract a few lymph nodes for the pathologist to examine, the surgeon will make a separate, minor incision in the armpit region during the procedure. The tissue is subsequently taken to a lab. If cancer has progressed to the lymph nodes, it can be detected with specialized tests. This information assists your healthcare professional in determining which therapies are most likely to be successful for you. A few days following your surgery, you might get the results of your tests.

What to expect from post-operational period?

Your healthcare team will keep an eye on your well-being in a recovery room following surgery until they give permission to you to return home. Before you leave the hospital, your doctor may write you a prescription for painkillers. You may experience pain just after surgery, but this medication will relieve it. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen, along with ice, can help the majority of patients manage the discomfort.

Your healthcare provider will explain how to recover well at home, mentioning:

  • How often you should change your dressings when taking care of the incision site.
  • How much and how frequently medication should be taken
  • How to perform shoulder exercises that help ease any stiffness you experience.
  • When to call your doctor, as well as the most alarming signs you should be aware of.
  • When you may return to your regular activities, take a shower, or wear a bra.

What are the potential risks of lumpectomy surgery?

Every operation carries some risk. The standard procedure of a lumpectomy, however, is very safe and successful. Compared to a mastectomy, which involves the removal of the entire breast, it is less intrusive. Infection, bruising, and swelling (called lymphedema) in your arm or hand nearest to the damaged breast are all potential side effects of lumpectomy surgery.

What is a mastectomy?

A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing every bit of breast tissue. A mastectomy is one therapy option for those with early-stage breast cancer. Another alternative is breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy), in which only the tumor is taken out of the breast. Modern mastectomy procedures can preserve breast flesh and give the breasts a more natural appearance thereafter. Another name for this is a skin-sparing mastectomy. Breast reconstruction surgery can be performed concurrently with your mastectomy or during a separate procedure at a later time to reconstruct the shape of your breast.

Who are the best candidates for mastectomy?

Your doctor might advise a mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy and radiation, if:

  • You have two or more tumors in various breast locations.
  • A breast biopsy revealed extensive or malignant-looking calcium deposits (microcalcifications) that were later found to be cancer.
  • Breast cancer has returned despite the previous radiation therapy you received for the breast area.
  • Radiation puts your unborn child in intolerable danger while you are pregnant.
  • While you underwent a lumpectomy, there is still cancer at the margin of the surgical site, and it is possible that the disease has spread to other parts of the breast.
  • You have a DNA mutation that increases your risk of getting a second breast cancer.
  • Compared to the size of your breast as a whole, you have a huge tumor. After a lumpectomy, there might not be enough healthy tissue remaining for a satisfactory cosmetic outcome.

You might not be able to handle the negative effects of radiation on the skin if you have a connective tissue illness like scleroderma or lupus.

What are the types of mastectomy?

  • Total mastectomy. A simple mastectomy, commonly referred to as a total mastectomy, is the removal of the entire breast, including the areola and nipple as well as the breast tissue. During a complete mastectomy, a biopsy of the sentinel lymph node may be performed.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy. All of the breast tissue, the nipple, and the areola is removed during a skin-sparing mastectomy, but the breast skin is left untouched. The sentinel lymph node may also be sampled. The mastectomy can be followed right away by breast reconstruction. For bigger tumors, a skin-sparing mastectomy might not be an option.
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy. A mastectomy that spares the skin, nipple, and areola involves solely the removal of breast tissue. The sentinel lymph node may also be sampled. The next day, breast reconstruction is carried out.
  • Modified radical mastectomy. Refers to the removal of all the breast tissue and the majority of the lymph nodes. To clarify, the majority of the lymph nodes in the underarm region are removed during a process known as axillary lymph node dissection, along with the surgical removal of the breast tissue, nipple, and areola. Less tissue and lymph nodes are removed with modern mastectomy procedures.

If you want to learn more about “Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy” continue reading.

What to expect before the surgery?

  • A mastectomy is a general word for a number of procedures to remove either one or both breasts. In order to check whether the cancer has spread, the surgeon may additionally remove some neighboring lymph nodes.
  • A number of lymph nodes from your armpit on the side of the tumor are taken out by the surgeon during an axillary node dissection.
  • Your surgeon only removes the first few nodes into which a tumor drains during a sentinel lymph node biopsy (sentinel nodes).
  • Then, a mastectomy’s lymph nodes are examined for signs of malignancy. There is no need to remove any additional lymph nodes if cancer is not found. The surgeon will go over your options, including radiation to your armpit if cancer is found. No additional lymph nodes will need to be removed if you choose to proceed in this manner.

Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy

What is the mastectomy procedure?

Often, a mastectomy is carried out when the patient is completely unconscious. Therefore, general anesthesia is applied. Generally, surgery lasts about ninety minutes. The procedure is as follows,

  • The first thing your doctor does is create an oval incision around your breast.
  • The breast tissue is taken out, and depending on your operation, other breast tissue can be taken out as well. The breast tissue and lymph nodes that are removed, regardless of the type of mastectomy you have, will be sent to a lab for evaluation.
  • The plastic surgeon will work with the breast surgeon to be available for surgery if you’re having breast reconstruction with a mastectomy.
  • Placing temporary tissue expanders in the chest is one method of breast reconstruction. The new breast mound will be created by these temporary expanders. Placement of temporary tissue expanders in the chest to retain the breast skin in place is one option for women who will undergo radiation therapy following surgery. As a result, you are able to put off the final breast reconstruction until after radiation treatment.
  • Meet with a radiation oncologist prior to surgery to go over benefits, risks, and how radiation will affect your breast reconstruction alternatives if you intend to have radiation therapy following surgery.
  • After the procedure, the incision is stitched together with sutures, which either fall out on their own or need to be removed later.
  • Also, you might have one or two tiny plastic tubes inserted where your breast was removed. Any fluid buildup following surgery will be drained through the tubes. A little drainage bag is attached to the ends of the tubes once they have been sewn into position. Read more to know about Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy

What is the post-operational period look like after mastectomy?

Things to anticipate following the surgery are,

  • Being sent to a recovery room so that your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure may be checked.
  • Dressing (bandage) to cover the surgical site.
  • Experience some discomfort, numbness, and a pinching sensation in the area of your underarms.
  • Learn how to take care of yourself at home, including how to look after your incision and drains, spot infection symptoms, and beware of activity limitations.
  • Discuss when to start wearing a bra or a breast prosthesis again with your medical team.
  • Get antibiotics and prescriptions for painkillers.

What are the risks of mastectomy?

Mastectomy is a harder procedure than lumpectomy. For this reason, there are more complications that can possibly arise as follows,

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • If you have an axillary node dissection, you may experience swelling (lymphedema) in your arm.
  • Hard scar tissue developing at the surgery site
  • Stiffness and pain in the shoulders
  • Numbness following lymph node removal, especially beneath your arm
  • Blood accumulation at the surgery site (hematoma)

Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy

Making the choice between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy can be challenging. Some women with breast cancer choose to have a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy, though this is not always an option. We compared the two surgeries from several aspects in this “Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy” title to guide you. In order to decide which one to have, consider the following,

  • Only the cancerous breast tissue and a small margin of healthy breast tissue are removed during a lumpectomy, often known as breast-conserving surgery. In comparison, mastectomy involves the surgical removal of the entire breast.
  • A lumpectomy is a less extensive surgery performed under general anesthesia. However, mastectomy is considered a major surgery.
  • Lumpectomy surgery takes less time compared to mastectomy, 60 and 90 minutes respectively.
  • Lumpectomy is a less invasive surgery and carries less risk than mastectomy.
  • The hospital stay for a mastectomy is longer.
  • The recovery period varies between lumpectomy and mastectomy. For lumpectomy, it can take up to 2 weeks depending on whether lymph nodes were removed or not during the procedure. In contrast, it takes about 4 to 8 weeks to fully recover if a mastectomy was performed.
  • The radiation therapy following the surgery is performed routinely after lumpectomy whereas it may not be even required after mastectomy.
  • In a lumpectomy, the possibility of local recurrence is higher than in mastectomy as the entire breast is removed in the latter operation. This also lowers the risk of needing additional therapies for a mastectomy patient.
  • The cost of a lumpectomy varies between $10,000 and $20,000. Mastectomy costs around $37,000.


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