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What to Expect in the Day Following Your Lumpectomy

What to Expect in the Day Following Your Lumpectomy

The thought of surgery is scary. But for many people with breast cancer, surgery is an essential part of treatment. If you’re scheduled for a lumpectomy, it’s normal to have questions, and we’re here to help.

Elvira Klause, MD, FACS, and our team specialize in breast surgery in Laguna Hills, California. Here’s what you need to know about what a lumpectomy entails and what you can expect during your first day of recovery.

What is lumpectomy?

A lumpectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a tumor or abnormal tissue from your breast while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. It’s sometimes called breast-conserving surgery or partial mastectomy.

While a full mastectomy removes your entire breast, a lumpectomy removes only the abnormal tissue and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. It’s considered an alternative to a full mastectomy for some people, when breast cancer is in early stages or localized.

What happens after lumpectomy?

During the lumpectomy, we administer general anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Once your procedure is done, you wake up gradually in a recovery room, where we closely monitor your condition.

It's normal to feel groggy and drowsy as the effects of anesthesia wear off. We provide pain medication to help alleviate any discomfort you may feel post-surgery.

In the surgery center

Right after you wake up, you might notice some drainage tubes connected to your surgical site. These tubes remove excess fluid and prevent the buildup of blood and other fluids around the incision, promoting healing and reducing the risk of complications.

We encourage you to start moving and gradually resume normal activities, like drinking fluids and eating light meals. Once we deem that you're stable and ready for discharge, we give you detailed instructions on how to care for yourself at home during the initial stages of your recovery.

Most people don’t need to stay in the hospital overnight following a lumpectomy, and you will need someone to drive you home after your procedure.

At home

Take your time getting settled in at home, and consider asking a loved one to stay with you for a few days to help out. Follow our recovery instructions to prevent complications and support your body's healing process.

Our instructions typically include information about wound care, drainage tube care, medication management, and signs of potential complications to watch out for. 

Be prepared for some discomfort and swelling around your surgical site. You may also notice bruising and tenderness around the breast area, which is a natural part of the healing process.


We may recommend applying ice packs to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting during this initial recovery period, and take your pain medication as prescribed.

As you navigate the first day following your lumpectomy, you might experience a range of emotions, from relief to anxiety. Give yourself permission to gradually ease back into your daily routine as you feel comfortable. 

Listen to your body, prioritize self-care, and surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who can offer encouragement and assistance during this time of healing. 

We schedule you for follow-up appointments with Dr. Klause and our team, and we’re available to answer any questions you have during your recovery.

The day following your lumpectomy is a critical period of transition that marks your journey toward recovery. Educating yourself can help make the process easier, and resources are available to support you every step of the way.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Klause to learn more about what to expect with a lumpectomy. Call our office at 949-245-6910 or request an appointment online to get started.

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