BREAST CONSERVING SURGERY
Wide Local Excision / Lumpectomy / Quadrantectomy
Who is it suitable for?
Breast conserving surgery is possible when the size of the tumour in relation to the breast allows complete removal of the tumour with enough breast tissue remaining to be refashioned to provide a satisfactory shape and size.
What is involved?
The breast cancer is removed with a rim of normal breast tissue in order to obtain clear margins. Surgery is done under a general anaesthetic as a day case or with an overnight stay in hospital. There are various oncoplastic techniques that can be used for remodelling the remaining breast tissue.
The remaining healthy breast tissue can be moved into the defect using oncoplastic techniques so that the area in which the tumour was located does not end up as a depression and the scar stuck down onto the chest wall.
For larger breast tumours or when the tumour is situated in certain positions, breast reduction principles are used to remove the tumour and relocate the nipple-areola into a better position. The result is a normal shaped but smaller breast. Surgery to alter the opposite healthy breast can provide symmetry between the breasts.
When removal of a large tumour does not allow a satisfactory cosmetic result to be achieved with revision of the remaining breast tissue, it is sometimes possible to replace the missing volume using a nearby flap of tissue or, to perform a mastectomy with or without immediate breast reconstruction.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know if this procedure is right for me?
It is important to discuss the operation with your surgeon. The aim of surgery is to obtain clear excision margins for complete tumour removal in order to reduce the risk of the cancer recurring. At the same time, your surgeon will advise on the best way to achieve a result that is cosmetically acceptable to you. The best outcome is achieved when you and your surgeon agree that the chosen operation will achieve your goals and expectations, and that you understand and have carefully considered the potential benefit from the procedure against the possible unwanted effects and risks from it.
How long does the procedure take?
From one hour.
How much does this procedure cost?
This depends on the complexity of the operation and length of stay in hospital. You will receive a cost breakdown before you book the operation.
Are there any potential side effects?
With any surgical procedure, there is a potential for unwanted effects. It is essential for you to minimize any risk factors (stop smoking, avoid blood thinning medications, stop the oral contraceptive pill, discuss other medications or supplements) when planning surgery.
Potential unwanted effects include: infection, bleeding, asymmetry, unsightly scars, altered sensation, loss of blood supply to the nipple (if preserved), delayed wound healing.
Important things to know about breast surgery: your breasts will naturally change with age, pregnancy and breast feeding, sensation may be altered, further surgery may be required. Radiotherapy will cause changes to the skin and breast tissue in the short and long term.
If the tumour is large in relation to your breast, breast removal surgery (otherwise known as a Mastectomy) may be required.
Various methods are available to reconstruct a breast using the woman’s own tissue or a prosthesis or a combination of these.
Lymph Node Removal
If breast cancer is detected, this procedure can help determine whether or not cancer cells have spread outside the breast.
ABOUT DR JACQUELINE LEWIS
Based in London, Dr Lewis is a highly respected surgeon, with over 30 years experience in helping women feel good about their bodies.