Breast Lump Removal (Lumpectomy)

A breast lump removal, medically known as a lumpectomy, is a surgical procedure performed to remove a discrete mass or lump from the breast. This procedure is typically used in the context of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment but can also be employed for benign (non-cancerous) breast lumps. Lumpectomy is designed to remove the abnormal tissue while preserving as much of the healthy breast tissue as possible. This description will provide an overview of lumpectomy, its purpose, and the associated considerations.

Purpose of Lumpectomy:

Lumpectomy is primarily used in the treatment of breast cancer, specifically for early-stage breast cancer or non-invasive conditions like ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The main goals of a lumpectomy are as follows:

  • Tumor Removal: The primary objective of a lumpectomy is to excise the cancerous or abnormal tissue, whether it is a tumor, mass, or lump, from the breast.
  • Breast Conservation: Lumpectomy is often chosen to conserve as much of the healthy breast tissue as possible while still effectively treating the cancer.
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Evaluation: In some cases, sentinel lymph node evaluation is performed during a lumpectomy to determine if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

The Lumpectomy Procedure:

Lumpectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on the extent of the surgery and patient preference. The key steps of a lumpectomy include:

  • Incision: The surgeon makes an incision near or directly over the lump in the breast.
  • Tumor Removal: The lump or tumor, along with a margin of healthy tissue, is carefully removed.
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (if needed): In cases where lymph node evaluation is necessary, the surgeon identifies and removes the sentinel lymph node(s) for examination.
  • Closure: The incision is closed with sutures, and often, dissolvable stitches are used to minimize scarring.

Benefits of Lumpectomy:

Lumpectomy offers several benefits, including:

  • Breast Conservation: Lumpectomy allows women to preserve a significant portion of their breast, which can have a positive impact on body image and self-esteem.
  • Effective Treatment: For many early-stage breast cancers, lumpectomy is just as effective as mastectomy (complete removal of the breast) in terms of treating the disease.
  • Shorter Recovery: Recovery time after a lumpectomy is generally shorter compared to a mastectomy.