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Lumpectomy is surgery to remove cancer. It's a breast-conserving surgery, which means your breast remains intact. There will be one incision on the breast for the lumpectomy procedure. You may also have a second incision under the arm for a sentinel lymph node biopsy, or for removal of the lymph nodes. If you're having a lumpectomy, you'll probably also have radiation therapy.
A week or more before the procedure, you will have an exam and routine tests. Before surgery:
Sign any consent forms.
Tell your healthcare provider about any medications, herbs, or supplements that you are taking.
Avoid eating or drinking for 8 to 12 hours before your surgery.
Arrange for a trusted adult to drive you home after surgery.
Bring a soft shirt that buttons in front to wear home.
Talk to the anesthesia care provider. He or she will explain how you will be kept free of pain during surgery.
Your surgeon will make an incision near the tumor site. The tumor and a surrounding margin of normal tissue will be removed. A second incision may also be made under the arm to remove some of the nearby axillary lymph nodes. These are checked to see if the cancer has spread to them. When the surgery is finished, the incisions will be closed using stitches.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following after surgery:
Fever of 100.0°F or higher
Increased pain, warmth, drainage, swelling, or redness at the incision
Cough or shortness of breath
Pain in the chest or calf
Bleeding that soaks the dressing
You will wake up in the recovery room. You may have an IV (intravenous) line for fluids and medications. Pain medications will be given to you as needed. A nurse will check your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure. You'll likely go home the same day.
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