Breast conservation surgery is a surgical procedure to remove cancerous breast tissue. Unlike a mastectomy where the entire breast is removed, breast conservation surgery removes only the tumor and an area of tissue surrounding it. Breast conservation surgery is possible for the treatment of most breast cancers. It’s important to talk to your doctor about all of your options.
Breast conservation surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the cancerous tissue, which will then be further analyzed by a pathologist. The surgeon will examine the remaining breast tissue for any further signs of cancer. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove or take samples of lymph nodes for testing to determine if the cancer has spread. This may require a separate incision under the arm.
There is minimal pain with breast conservation surgery. Most women are back to their normal activities within days, but recovery could take up to a few weeks. Patients are given shoulder exercises to begin soon after surgery.
Breast Conservation Surgery is less disfiguring than a mastectomy, and it typically does not require reconstructive surgery. However, depending on the amount of tissue removed, breast conservation surgery can change the appearance of the breast. I n cases like that, surgeons can reconstruct the breast during the breast conservation surgery. This type of procedure is known as oncoplastic surgery. The surgery can give a patient breast symmetry, despite the removal of
Dr. Beth Peterson is a general surgeon with Collom & Carney who currently performs breast conservation surgery. She is a graduate of LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, where she also completed her residency. Dr. Peterson is certified through the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgery. She joined Collom & Carney in 2015.
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If the removed tissue is cancerous, your surgeon will recommend radiation treatments to kill off any possible remaining cancer cells. There are two types of radiation treatment for breast cancer. One option is external radiation where penetrating X-rays are aimed at the tumor cavity. The other is breast brachytherapy. This procedure uses special catheters to deliver radiation directly to the tumor cavity and some of the surrounding tissue.
The SAVI® Breast Brachytherapy Device delivers radiation directly to the tumor site without X-rays penetrating and damaging healthy breast tissue. An applicator is gently inserted through a small incision into the
tumor cavity. This can be done in your physician’s office. A catheter is expanded to conform to the shape of the tumor cavity. Once the catheter is in place, you can go to your radiation oncologist to begin treatment. Radiation is delivered twice a day for five days or less. The catheter is removed once the treatment is complete.