Surgical Institute Navicent Health

Breast Surgeries

Breast Biopsy

A breast biopsy is done to remove a sample of breast tissue and look at it under a microscope to check for breast cancer. This is usually done when a lump is found on a manual exam or a suspicious area is found on a mammogram.

Before Surgery

  • Let your doctor know all medications you are taking including over the counter and any vitamins or herbs. Also inform your doctor of any allergies. Your doctor will let you know what type of biopsy will be done.

During Surgery

  • Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy- A thin needle is inserted into the lump and fluid or cells are removed.
  • Core Needle Biopsy- A needle is inserted that has a special tip and a sample the size of a grain of rice is removed
  • Vacuum-Assisted Core Biopsy- A probe is inserted that uses a gentle vacuum (suction) to remove a small sample of the breast tissue
  • Open Biopsy- A small incision is made in the breast and part or the entire lump is removed.

Ultrasound or MRI may be used with any of these procedures to help guide the doctor to the exact location of the lump.

After Surgery

  • All of the biopsies are done on an outpatient basis and you will go home after a short recovery period. There may be stitches in place with the open biopsy that you will need to keep clean and dry. You may be sore and can take over the counter pain medication if needed.

Risks of This Procedure

  • Infection at the biopsy site
  • Bruising at the biopsy site
  • Prolonged bleeding

Lumpectomy

This is a breast conserving surgery to remove cancer and surrounding tissue. The goal is to leave the breast looking as normal as possible. The lump is removed and sent to pathology in one piece for examination.

Before Surgery

  • Review all medications including over the counter and any vitamins and herbs with your doctor. Also make your doctor aware of any allergies.

During Surgery

  • Most of the time local anesthesia will be used to numb the area, although some patients or doctors may chose to use general anesthesia.
  • A scalpel will be used to make a small incision and the lump will be removed
  • A drain may or may not be inserted depending on the size and location of the lump.
  • Finally the incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a dressing.

After Surgery

  • You will be taken to recovery for a short time and then released home.
  • In recovery your nurse will review pain control, wound care, drain care, exercise for the affected side, and signs and symptoms of infection.

Risks of this Procedure

  • Infection
  • Bleeding at the surgical site
  • Poor Wound Healing
  • Persistent Itch or Numbness at the surgical site

Lymphadenectomy

This is a surgical procedure in which some or all of the lymph nodes in an area around a tumor are removed. This is done because cancer cells can travel through the lymphatic system and spread throughout the body. When your doctor removes your lymph nodes they can check and see if the cancer has spread throughout the lymphatic system.

Before Surgery

  • Review all medications including over the counter and any vitamins and herbs with your doctor. Also make your doctor aware of any allergies.
  • You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.

During Surgery

  • General anesthesia will be used and the procedure will be done either laparoscopically or open depending on where the lymph nodes are being removed from.
  • Open Lymphadenectomy- An incision will be made at the site where the lymph nodes are being removed. The lymph nodes are then carefully removed and the incision is closed usually with a temporary drain in place to help drain excess fluid.
  • Laparoscopic Lymphadenectomy-If done laparoscopically small incisions are made in the abdomen and small surgical instruments and a small camera are inserted to help the doctor see. The lymph nodes are then removed through the incisions. This procedure is typically used for pelvic and aortic lymph nodes.

After Surgery

  • You will be taken to recovery for a short time and then will usually spend one night in the hospital.
  • Before discharge you will be given instructions on wound care, drain care, pain control, and ways to help prevent lymphedema.

Risks of this Procedure

  • Infection
  • Bleeding at the surgical site
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Phlebitis (vein inflammation)

Masectomy

Mastectomy is the complete removal of the breast and possibly the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. This procedure is usually done when there is a diagnosis of breast cancer but it can also be done as a prophylactic procedure if you are known to be at a very high risk for breast cancer.

Before Surgery

  • Your doctor will review all allergies and medications with you including over the counter and any vitamins and herbs.
  • You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Your doctor will explain the type of surgery you will be having.

During Surgery

  • General anesthesia will be used and one of the following types of surgery will be performed
  • Total Mastectomy- Removal of the entire breast
  • Modified, radical mastectomy- Removal of the breast, some lymph nodes from under the arm and possibly part of the chest wall muscles
  • Radical Mastectomy- Removal of the breast, all lymph nodes under the arm, and the chest wall muscles

After Surgery

  • You will stay in the hospital for about 1-2 days after surgery.
  • Upon discharge you will be given instructions on wound care, drain care, pain management, how and when to begin exercising the affected side, and follow up appointments.

Risks of this Procedure

  • Infection
  • Bleeding from surgical site
  • Feeling of numbness, tingling, or pulling
  • Lymphedema (if lymph nodes were removed)