Lumpectomy (Surgery, Procedure)


Did you have a lumpectomy? Please describe your experience. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Ksy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy 1 week ago. My surgeon had a radioactive seed implanted to locate the tumor. This was easier than the 5 biopsies I had in the last few weeks! For the surgery I had propofol for heavy sedation and lidocaine. In all, I was at the surgical center for 4 or 5 hours. I took one tramadol for pain that night but I don’t like feeling woozy so I switched to using ice packs on and off day and night for 4 days. I am fine now. I am still wearing a bra 24/7.

Comment from: Leslie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I am now 3 weeks post lumpectomy, my second operation. After 8 years doctors finally removed a fatty tissue lymphoma near my sternum. I was recalled a month later and told there were 2 lumps, a 17 mm ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) with a 7 mm invasive carcinoma behind it. I was horrified. Initially a mastectomy was the option, I argued and luckily got a re-excision with a safer margin and lymph node biopsy. I took Panadol for minimal pain, and was 2 weeks off work. I mostly have nerve twinges now. I am on hormone suppression next 5 years. Always ask for diagnosis by MRI.

Comment from: Mary M, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 08

I am six days post-operation from a lumpectomy. I found the lump in self-examination and my doctor ordered a mammogram and ultrasound. The mammogram did not show it, but fortunately, the ultrasound did and a biopsy was ordered with wire insertion. I have invasive ductal carcinoma, grade 2. Fast forward to MRI, genetic testing, dye test and surgery. I found the most obnoxious of this to be the MRI and dye test, however, they are all bearable. I just found out my margins are clear and I am stage 1A. No lymph node involvement!

Comment from: Katie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

An ultrasound found a lobular invasive lump but small, so after an MRI I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. As a smaller sized woman I found the radioactive dye injection very painful (short but eye-watering, very nasty sting but 4 times more painful). Insertion of the wire was fine if you look away and chat to the doctor (it is under local anesthesia), and then surgery. Aside from the fear which is so normal, the vanity stuff which is also normal, my surgical experience was surrounded by caring doctors which made me feel that the best would be done. I found day one and two after the lumpectomy quite painful (needed some Endone and Panadol) but after that the main issue was the right and firm bra, and some armpit stinging. I walked every day post operation, tried half a km day 1, then 4 km day 2 and 3; it’s better being out in nature than propped in bed! My outcomes were positive luckily, big margin and no node issue. Now I am just healing as best I can, resting, eating well and walking when I can. Thank goodness for Panadol! I am just so happy to still be here with my family; life is so beautiful despite its bumps.

Comment from: Jaynie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

You never think about cancer real hard until it is you. Routine mammogram, biopsy, and boom, you need a lumpectomy. I was fortunate to have an amazing team at the hospital. Other than the placement wire prior to surgery, which was uncomfortable, I had a very quick recovery time. I'm 6 days post-operation and have bruising and minimal discomfort. My surgeon called and said I have clear margins. I have appointment in 2 weeks to see if hormone therapy or radiation is required in the future. This would not have been caught with self-exam. At this point it is a non-invasive ductal cancer. My mother had breast cancer and later died from liver cancer. I don't know what the future holds but I am going to stay positive.

Comment from: NotHowYouDescribed, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

My recovery time from lumpectomy was not at all how your article described it would be. That said, I think you should emphasize that this time varies drastically between patients. The more patients I have spoken with, the more I know this to be true. I had more breast tissue taken than was initially expected; the cancer had progressed from grade 2 to 3 within a matter of weeks, so at least 1/4 was taken, reducing me from 44 DD to 42 A-B. The other side was reduced and lifted to match. I had no drains, but weekly up to 100 cc of fluid was drained from either side for 4 weeks, the first week I had moments of excruciating pain, but gradually got better. The doctor told me not to exercise (other than walking) up to 6 weeks post-operation. At that time, I thought I'd try a modified plank position, and pulled a muscle in the front of my shoulder, and he suggested I not do that again. I would not say I was doing everything as usual by 6 weeks, and was still trying to build strength so I joined the post-operation exercise group. Sentinel nodes were removed. I then began radiation treatments which apparently irritated the small amount of lymphedema that I barely noticed, and I am now in physical therapy for that and cannot lift more than 2 pounds until this resolves (hopefully at the end of my 7 weeks of radiation therapy). Several people seemed doubtful about my recovery, though most did not, including the health care workers in my exercise class and at the radiation oncology clinic. Therefore, I can only guess that if any of the naysayers read your article, they would have been doubtful of my recovery. What percentage of lumpectomies really return to completely normal functioning after 2 days! Really! I am also a registered nurse, and I have not seen what you have said to be true. Wrong information can affect people's support or lack thereof.

Comment from: Anne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 23

I had a lumpectomy and had sentinel node dye. Three nodes were removed, and 2 of those positive. I returned to surgery 2 weeks later and had 4 nodes removed and further scraping lateral to where previous lumpectomy was done. One node was positive. Now I have infection around the auxiliary operation site and down into my breast. I have used 2 different antibiotics and still using one for 5 days now, and my breast is still red and sore. I had fluid drained and was told I did not have an infection; but I did. So now I play the waiting game. When this subsides I am having radiation and the hormonal treatment. My cancer is a stage one. I had two tumors in my breast.


A lump in the breast is almost always cancer. See Answer
Comment from: acook, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I had stage 2 breast cancer, it was 3 tumors in right breast. I had surgery and lumpectomy, it wasn't bad. I had them removed and 4 lymph nodes taken, and they came back benign. The doctor got all the cancer. I will be starting radiation in a week and then the pill. Keep a strong attitude and you will be fine. Good luck, hope this helps someone.

Comment from: decembercool, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

On 9/30/2015, the procedure I had done was for sentinel lymph nodes on left breast, lumpectomy breast conserving surgery. In my experience everything went well, my surgery was done as an outpatient. I went home and was in severe pain for about three days, but the pain subsided some afterward. I was unable to lift anything more than ten pounds for about two weeks. I have follow-up visit with the doctor within 10 days.

Comment from: epsjoice, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 29

I had a lumpectomy about 6 weeks ago. I found the pre-operation prep tests to be more invasive then the surgery itself. That is the wire insertion to mark the mass, and the inserting of dye to mark the lymph node travel. I first developed a hematoma under the arm. Two weeks after surgery my breast turned bright pink and we started antibiotics for several weeks. That didn't seem to work and now the surgeon is wondering if it is a vascular problem. It has not been all roses. However, I am stage 1 and had good margins, so no chemotherapy needed. Still the wait to start radiation is bothering me and I stay stressed.

Comment from: GinaD74, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 22

I had a benign breast lumpectomy performed. I am not sure why the doctor insisted as it was benign. It was done in case it became cancer. I can’t see why not wait till a lump developed, if one even did. But I had it done anyway. And after the follow up, he said it was still benign.

Comment from: Ada, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 05

I had my lumpectomy 2 months ago. First it was low grade then grade 3, then I was told it had been pre-cancerous, 1 cm in size. It was taken out with 2 cm tissue and no cancer left. I can't have radiotherapy as I had it 20 years ago. First no chemotherapy, they only gave me 2 percent, then I was told they will give me 10 percent. No consultant was sent for a cancer diagnosis but they have done since I had a 2nd opinion and asked for it. I am very unhappy so far but watch this space. The moral is, ask questions even though you may not be liked for it.


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