Breast Cancer Surgery

Breast cancer surgery is usually the first step in treating breast cancer. Learn about the different types of breast cancer surgeries and what to expect.

Types of Breast Cancer Surgeries

The following are some common breast cancer surgeries that are performed at Christian Hospital.

Lumpectomy: The removal of a tumor or mass in the breast. This surgery preserves the breast tissue and only takes out a small amount of breast tissue by the tumor.

Mastectomy: The removal of all the breast tissue. A prophylactic mastectomy is a preventive surgery that removes all the breast tissue to decrease the chances of high risk women to get breast cancer. Christian Hospital also offers skin and nipple- sparing mastectomy as well as breast reconstruction options.

Lymph node removal: The removal of nodes that may be cancerous. Once the nodes are removed a pathologist checks them for signs of breast cancer. Another option offered at Christian Hospital is sentinel lymph node biopsy to check whether the cancer has spread. The sentinel node is the first node  in a group that is the most probable place for cancer cells to go if they move from the original site.

Prophylactic ovary removal: Preventative surgery that removes the ovaries and fallopian tubes to prevent breast or ovarian cancer. This type of surgery lowers the chances of breast or ovarian cancer in high risk women.

What to Expect

Learn what to expect before, during and after any breast cancer surgery.

Before Breast Cancer Surgery

Before any type of breast cancer surgery women are asked about their medical history and need to have pre-surgery tests done to make sure their bodies can handle the surgery. These tests can include chest x-ray, blood test and urine test.

During Breast Cancer Surgery

When you arrive for surgery you will be asked to sign an informed consent form and will meet the anesthesiologist and the surgery team. The anesthesiologist will then administer your anesthesia and you will fall asleep. While you are asleep, the surgery team will begin working on removing the breast cancer.

After Breast Cancer Surgery

After surgery you will be sent to a recovery room. If the surgery is an outpatient procedure you will go home and finish recovery there. A lumpectomy is usually an outpatient procedure. If you had a mastectomy, you will stay in the hospital overnight or longer to recover.  You will get your results from the surgery within 5-10 days.

Possible Risks and Complications from Surgery

Sometimes after breast cancer surgery there are complications. Below are some common complications women go through after breast cancer surgery.

  • Infections at the wound
  • Hematoma
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Chronic pain
  • Scar tissue formation
  • Lymphedema

To speak to a breast cancer treatment specialist or to schedule an appointment, call the Christian Hospital Breast Health Center at 877.747.9355 or email us.