Breast Cancer Surgery

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women; however, it can also affect male patients and should always be taken seriously. The first sign of breast cancer if often an abnormal mammogram or the appearance of a breast lump. Breast cancer stages can range from early, curable breast cancer to recurrent, or metastatic, breast cancer. Treatment types vary depending on the stage and severity of cancer, as well the patient’s personal health and history.

Breast cancer is most often treated with surgery to remove the tumor, and possibly, chemotherapy and radiation. Eastern Surgical is equipped to employ the most advanced surgical procedures should surgery be determined as the most viable solution for cancer treatment. Our physicians will work with you to determine a course of action based on your health needs.

What are the types of surgery available to me?

Most people facing breast cancer will have undergo some type of surgery. The surgical approaches currently necessitate “open surgery” but can differ from breast-conserving surgery to a full mastectomy, or breast removal.

When possible, your physician may work with you to determine whether breast-conserving surgery is an option. In this instance, only the part of the breast that contains cancer is removed. The goal is to remove the cancer as well as some surrounding normal tissue to prevent recurrence. How much of the breast that must be removed depends on the size and location of the tumor as well as the health of the patient. Most patients will need radiation therapy to the breast after breast conserving surgery.

Depending on the severity of the cancer, a full mastectomy, or removal of the breast, may be necessary.

Surgery can range from 1 to 4 hours depending on the amount tissue that needs to be removed and whether or not you and your physician pursue reconstruction of the removed breast.

What should I expect following the operation?

Depending on the amount of tissue removed patients may spend 0 to 2 days in the hospital. Even outpatients will have surgical drains in place and should not expect to be able to return to work for several days.

At home, most patients need between 2-4 weeks before they are able to resume all activity that they could do before surgery. Depending on your health needs, you may also need work with your physician to determine continued treatment needs.