Breast surgeries can include a number of different procedures, but some of the more common ones include lumpectomies, mastectomies, and biopsies.
In a lumpectomy, cancerous tumors are removed from the breast along with surrounding tissue, preserving as much of the breast as possible. A mastectomy involves surgically removing the entire breast because of cancer. Biopsies are less invasive procedures that involve collecting tissue from a lump or abnormal area to determine if it is cancerous or not.
Breast surgery is often required if you had an abnormal result on a mammogram or felt a lump in your breast. In these cases, either a needle biopsy or a surgical biopsy might be required to check to see if you have breast cancer.
Mastectomies are often required in women who have early breast cancer or locally advanced breast cancer. Cutting off the entire breast is a good way to stop cancer from spreading to the rest of the body. It can also be used for people with ductal carcinoma in situ or Paget disease of the breast.
Lumpectomies are a good way for women with breast cancer to save their breasts. It is usually paired with radiation or chemotherapy to ensure all cancerous cells are destroyed.
After a breast surgery, you might have a drain in place to keep fluid from building up. This drain usually stays in place for seven to 10 days to give your body time to heal fully. The drain may need to be emptied twice a day.
For lumpectomies, you will be able to leave the hospital the same day as your surgery. Patients who have a mastectomy usually spend up to one day in the hospital, while patients who have a mastectomy with a breast reconstruction will have a prolonged stay.
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