Q:

Is recovery from a lumpectomy difficult?

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Quick Answer

Recovery from lumpectomy is not especially difficult, according to Mayo Clinic. After the operation, the patient has a bandage over the surgical wound and can expect to experience some numbness or pain in the area. She may also experience what feels like pinching in her armpit.

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Full Answer

To ease discomfort, the doctor prescribes pain medications and antibiotics for the patient, explains Mayo Clinic. She also needs to refrain from strenuous activity for a while and make sure to keep follow-up appointments with the doctor. The first appointment is usually scheduled a week or two after the lumpectomy, and this is typically when the lab report is ready. Depending on the results, the patient may need more surgery. If this is the case, a team of medical and radiation oncologists, a counselor and support groups may be found for her.

During a lumpectomy, just the tumor and a margin of tissue around it are removed from the breast, according to Breastcancer.org. This helps preserve most of the breast. Lumpectomy can be an outpatient procedure, and the patient can be taken home as soon as the medical professionals believe she is ready, says Mayo Clinic. A patient who has had a more extensive lumpectomy may need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days.

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