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What Is A Lumpectomy?

Lumpectomy, the removal of a tumor with a small amount of surrounding normal breast tissue, is the one form of surgical breast cancer treatment. Lumpectomy is typically paired with post-operative radiation therapy to remove any residual cancer cells.  The combination of lumpectomy and radiation is called “breast conservation therapy”.

Treament Options With A Lumpectomy

Treatment with lumpectomy and radiation does not remove all breast tissue, but this treatment can result in changes to the breast appearance. These changes are most noticeable in women with smaller breasts, or tumors that are large in comparison to the volume of the breast.  Large tumors or lumpectomies in small breasts result in significant breast distortion.  This distortion can be a “scoop” or “hollow” where breast tissue was removed.

Scarring After A Lumpectomy

Breast distortion may be noticeable immediately after lumpectomy.  For some women, radiation (which is a necessary part of “breast conservation therapy”) can worsen the distortion.  Radiation can worsen internal scarring at the lumpectomy site, resulting in a tethered or tight scar.

Plastic Surgery & Breast Conservation Therapy

Plastic surgeons are often involved in the care for “breast conservation therapy” patients.  This can be at the time of lumpectomy, using parenchymal rearrangement, or after radiation is completed for fat grafting or revision procedures.

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