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Breast Surgery

A lumpectomy may also be called a wide local excision or segmental mastectomy. This surgery is the removal of the cancerous lump and a portion of the surrounding breast tissue.

Some patients may also need to have a few lymph nodes removed from the armpit as well, depending on the type of cancer found in the initial biopsy. These patients must also have radiation therapy after surgery to treat the remaining breast tissue. In the right circumstances, this operation and the following radiation treatments can provide the same cure rate as having the whole breast removed.

Some patients may have an obvious change in the shape or size of the breast after this surgery, but most patients are very pleased with the end result. You will be asleep for the one to two hours that it takes to complete this procedure. The size of your incision will vary depending on the size and location of the lump. Some patients may have a small tube coming from the wound that will drain fluid into a small plastic container. The breast tissue and lymph nodes will be sent to pathology immediately, but it may take up to four business days before the results are obtained.

Most patients stay in the hospital overnight with a total recovery period of two to four weeks. The drain will be removed in the office within one week of surgery and the stitches or staples in the incision will be removed within two weeks. Your doctor will talk to you in the office about the pathology report and any further treatment that you may need.

A modified radical mastectomy is the removal of one entire breast and a few of the lymph nodes in the armpit. This surgery is done to remove a breast cancer that cannot be removed safely by a smaller surgery such as a lumpectomy.

If your physician is recommending this surgery, you probably have had a biopsy that diagnosed a breast cancer. The best method for curing some forms of cancer is to have a mastectomy, often followed with additional treatment.

You will be asleep for the one to two hours that it takes to complete this procedure. You will have an incision from the middle of the chest that extends underneath the armpit. There will be 2 tubes coming from the wound that will drain fluid into small plastic containers. The breast and lymph nodes will be sent to pathology immediately, but it may take up to four business days before the results are obtained. Most patients will stay in the hospital for one to three days with a total recovery period of four to six weeks. The drains will be removed in the office within one week of surgery and the staples in the incision will be removed within two to three weeks.

Your doctor will talk to you in the office about further treatment that you may need. Your doctor can also discuss options for breast reconstruction if you are interested.

In-Office Biopsies

Needle Code Breast Biopsy

This type of biopsy can be done in the office if the surgeon can feel the breast lump with his hands during an exam. During this procedure, the surgeon numbs the breast tissue near the lump and then inserts a special needle into the breast. With the use of this needle, the surgeon can retrieve several samples of tissue from the lump that can be sent to pathology for a diagnosis. You will leave the office with only a Band-Aid. The results of this biopsy are usually complete within two to three business days. The surgeon will then call you or schedule an office appointment to discuss results.

Ultrasound Guided Mammotome Breast Biopsy

We are now able to offer ultrasound guided breast biopsy in the office in cases where the breast abnormality can be seen by ultrasound imaging. During this procedure, the surgeon numbs the breast tissue near the lump and then uses ultrasound (sound waves) images to guide the Mammotome probe into the abnormal area and removes multiple tissue samples. You leave the office with only a Band-Aid. The results of this biopsy are usually complete within two to three business days and are discussed with you at a follow-up appointment with your surgeon. For more information on Mammotome Breast Biopsy, please see our patient education section.

Hospital Biopsies

Steriotactic Mammotome Breast Surgery

You will feel at ease during the procedure because a Mammotome biopsy causes little pain, requires no sutures, and can be performed quickly. Steriotactic (X-rays from two angles) images guide the Mammotome probe into the abnormal area and allows the surgeon to remove multiple tissue samples. For more information on Mammotome Breast Biopsy, please see our patient education section.

Open Surgery Breast Biopsy

An open surgical breast biopsy may be recommended for patients who have an abnormality of the breast tissue identified either by mammogram or physician exam. Most lumps and abnormalities are not cancerous. However, if there is sufficient concern, the surgeon will recommend removing the lump completely. If the lump is too small to feel, the surgeon may have to numb the breast tissue and insert a small wire to mark the abnormality. You will then go to the operating room for a general anesthetic and removal of the lump. Most patients are able to leave the hospital within a few hours of the procedure. Results of your biopsy will be given to you in the office within one week after surgery.