The surgery done to remove a lump from your breast is called lumpectomy. The main indications for lumpectomy include
Breast cancer where the tumor is small and the chances of cure are same as doing a mastectomy. For example- ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), for invasive ductal carcinoma, or for other conditions
Other non cancerous tumors of the breast
Lumpectomy is usually done as a day care procedure where you are discharged home on the same day. Your doctor will be giving you a general anesthesia, where you will be asleep or a local anesthesia where you will be awake. In both the situations your doctor will make sure you will be free of pain. This procedure takes about 1 hour.
Your doctor will make a small cut on your breast and removes the lump and some of the surrounding normal tissue as well. This is very important to know the extent of the tumor spread. Sometimes your doctor will remove some of the lymph nodes in your armpit to rule out spread of cancer. The lump will be sent to a pathologist who examines the histopathology of the lump, nature and extent of the tumor.
After the procedure your doctor will close the skin with stitches which dissolve on their own.
Fig 1: Illustration of lumpectomy
Fig 2: Breast morphology before and after lumpectomy
You have to visit your doctor after 7 days for wound review and general check up. During this visit your doctor will give you the histopathology report and discuss on further line of management if required.
If drain was placed during the surgery, your doctor will ask you to come for follow up once the volume of the drain contents have come down. After examining the drain and its contents, it will be removed.
Avoid activities that cause pain in the surgical area for 1 to 2 weeks.
Try not to lift your arm on the side of surgical above your head level which causes strain on the surgery area, for few days.
You can go back to your usual activities in a week or so.
Wear a good form-fitting bra for 24 hours a day for five days following your surgical procedure. Remove it only when you shower. This helps to restrict movement of the breast to some extent and helps in wound healing.
Avoid direct trauma to the breast(trauma might lead to delayed bleeding inside your breast)