What Are Side Effects of a Lumpectomy?


Quick Answer

Temporary pain, swelling, tenderness and formation of hard scar tissue are possible side effects of a lumpectomy, according to Mayo Clinic. Because it is a surgical procedure, there is also the risk of bleeding and infection. Depending on the amount of tissue removed during the procedure, there may be changes to the appearance of the breast.

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Full Answer

A lumpectomy is a procedure in which a surgeon removes cancerous or other abnormal tissue from the breast, explains Mayo Clinic. Sometimes referred to as breast-conserving surgery, wide local incision or excisional biopsy, the procedure only removes the abnormal or suspicious tissue and a small margin of normal tissue surrounding it, preserving the majority of the breast tissue.

A doctor may perform a lumpectomy to confirm or rule out a cancer diagnosis, notes Mayo Clinic. Lumpectomy is also the first treatment option for some women with early-stage breast cancer. If cancer cells are present upon analysis of the removed tissue, the woman often undergoes radiation treatment to ensure eradication of all cancer cells and minimize the chance that the cancer returns.

Following the procedure, the patient may take medication to alleviate pain. She may also take antibiotics to reduce the chance that infection develops. The doctor may recommend restricted activity until the surgery site heals.

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