If you must have a tumor located in the breast removed. It is called a breast lumpectomy operation.
What is the proposed intervention?
This procedure involves removing the part of your breast where the tumor has been located. Its purpose is to remove all of the lesions (cancer, micro-calcifications or benign lesion, etc.), while preserving as much tissue as possible to reshape the breast afterwards.
This surgical operation is integrated into a treatment program combining several disciplines. It has been, or will be, explained to you by your surgeon.
The lumpectomy is performed under general anesthesia.
The anesthetist, responsible for this part of your intervention, will answer all questions relating to his specialty during the preoperative consultation.
Do not forget to tell your surgeon and anesthesiologist what treatments you take regularly and in particular aspirin and anti-coagulants.
If you have ever had allergic reactions, you should also report this.
Finally, during your hospitalization, bring all the medical documents in your possession: mammograms and recent breast ultrasounds, etc.
In general, your entry will be scheduled the morning of the intervention. You must not eat from midnight the day before. As a rule, 6 hours of fasting before the scheduled intervention.
On an empty stomach since the previous evening, you will be taken care of by the nursing and medical team. Shaving or axillary hair removal will have been done 3 to 5 days before, so before the operation just take a shower with an antiseptic product. After a premedication based on tranquillizers, you will be taken to the operating room.
You will be given an infusion and the anesthesia will start.
The duration of the intervention is usually from less than 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
The location of the scar varies according to the site of the lesion. The tumor is removed with the gland that surrounds it, then the breast is reshaped to leave it in a harmonious shape. If a lymph node removal is necessary, it is often carried out during the same intervention by an extension of the incision or by a second incision in the armpit (axillary dissection)
A drainage system, also called Redon, is sometimes put in place.
In some cases, the lesion to be removed is not palpable. The surgeon can then suggest a preoperative location using a small metal wire placed under ultrasound or mammography at the level of the lesion. This is done the day before or the morning of the radiology intervention. The location of the lesion can also be identified by simple marking with a felt pen on the skin. This identification makes it easier for the surgeon to find the lesion during the operation.
In the event that the diagnosis of cancer could not be made with certainty before the intervention, the surgeon may request a rapid examination of the lesion: this is a study in the pathology laboratory to confirm or rule out the cancerous nature of the tumor. With your prior agreement, the surgeon can perform a biopsy of the armpit nodes. However, this real-time examination does not always reveal the cancerous nature of the lesion and longer examinations are therefore necessary.
Depending on the results, a second intervention could possibly be proposed.
During the operation, the surgeon may be faced with an unforeseen situation requiring additional acts that he would consider necessary. It also happens that the planned removal of the lesion is insufficient. Your surgeon will then be able to offer you another possibility, sometimes a mastectomy during a new intervention to be scheduled.
You will stay in the recovery room before returning to your room and then the postoperative treatment will be launched.
You can resume normal diet the same day.
The discharge is often planned from the evening of the intervention, if you have not had an axillary dissection and in the absence of drainage, depending on the healing and your general condition.
Prescriptions will be given to you before discharge and an appointment will be made for the post-operative consultation and the announcement of the results of the analyzes under the microscope.
The sutures are usually absorbable, and the scar does not require any particular care, except a daily careful cleaning, with soap and water, followed by a thorough drying. You can take showers the day after the operation, if you have not drainage but it is recommended to wait a month before immersing the scar in a bath. Wearing a soft bra is recommended.
In case of fever, scar disunity, significant discharge, notorious pain, especially in the calves or any other abnormality, it is essential to inform your doctor.
Lumpectomy is a common procedure, and is simple in the majority of cases. After the intervention, the pain is very variable but often remains moderate. Treated preventively and adapted to your case, pain is the subject of all our attention and in particular the first 24 hours. After a few days, the spontaneous pain is minimal and only pain might occur on palpation of the operated area .
Sometimes a pocket of fluid called a lymphocele can form under the scar. It may then be necessary to drain the liquid by one or more punctures. When you leave, you will be given a telephone number to call if necessary.
Skin healing can sometimes be difficult, especially after radiation therapy.
Skin necrosis and scar disunity will require prolonged care and healing will take longer.
Hematomas and infections are complications that can occur locally. Local care is often enough to treat them, however in rare cases, a new intervention must be scheduled to wash and drain the cavity.
The lumpectomy is always associated with a remodeling of the gland in order to avoid postoperative deformities. However, depending on the case, that is to say depending on the size of the tumor, its location and the size of the breast, an asymmetry between the two breasts may persist. Your history and / or treatment prior to the operation may favor the occurrence of certain risks. It is therefore imperative to inform the doctor of your personal and family history and of all the treatments and medications that you take.
Any medical act, investigation, exploration, intervention on the human body, even carried out under conditions of competence and safety in accordance with current data from science and the regulations in force, conceals a risk of complication. In the exceptional case of a large hemorrhage, a blood transfusion or plasma transfusion may be necessary. Except for the certain cases, an anticoagulant treatment is prescribed after the operation to reduce the risk of phlebitis or embolism.
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