Lumpectomy/Partial Mastectomy/Quadrantectomy

A breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is any procedure that removes cancerous tissues from the breast without removing the entire breast. BCS include:

  • Lumpectomy: Surgery that typically removes the smallest amount of tissue. This is the least invasive breast cancer surgery.
  • Partial mastectomy: Surgery that removes a larger portion of the breast, which may include part of the chest wall lining.
  • Quadrantectomy: Surgery that removes roughly one quarter of the breast.

For each procedure, a surgeon will remove cancerous tissues, and also typically removes some surrounding healthy tissue and lymph nodes depending upon the size and location of the tumor and other factors. Health professionals consider lumpectomy a good option for many women with early-stage breast cancer.

Following the procedure, most patients will need radiation treatment. A surgeon usually performs a lumpectomy in an outpatient center without the need for an overnight hospital stay.

As with all surgeries, a BCS has some risks involved.

  • Loss of sensation: Typically, patients will experience some numbness, or loss of sensation, in the area of the breast that was operated on. This feeling may or may not return over time.
  • Asymmetrical breasts: Depending on the type and extent of the surgery, patients may notice a difference in the appearance of their breasts. Breasts may not be identical to each other following surgery, with differences in size and shape.