Lumpectomy, also called wide local excision or breast conserving surgery is a surgical procedure to remove a malignant tumour and removes a lump along with some of the surrounding normal tissue from a woman’s breast. Lumpectomy is a type of breast conservation or preservation surgery.


  • Early stage breast cancer
  • Breast cancer shrunk by neoadjuvant treatments

Before the procedure:

Your doctor will perform a physical examination of the breasts. A mammogram is done to detect soft tissue abnormalities of the breast and a biopsy performed to obtain a tissue sample. Based on the findings of the mammogram and biopsy, you may be advised to undergo a lumpectomy.


The aim of the procedure is to remove the abnormal tissue and retain the normal appearance of the breast. Lumpectomy can be performed performed as a day stay or inpatient procedure and is usually done under general anesthesia although it sometimes can be done under a local anaesthetic. The tumour may need to be located preoperatively by a radiologist if it cannot be felt. At operation an incision is made in a cosmetically acceptable place. The surgeon then removes the tumour along with a small layer of surrounding tissue and sends it to lab for investigation. The breast disc is reformed to fill in the resultant cavity. Your surgeon may also remove lymph nodes in your armpit (axilla) to see if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. This may or may not require a further incision.

At the end of the procedure, the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures and a soft waterproof dressing is placed over the surgical area.

After the procedure:

  • Make sure you get enough rest so that you can return to normal activities in a few days.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medications and antibiotics to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Keep the incision are clean and dry to avoid infection. Showering is permitted.
  • A follow-up appointment should be scheduled 1-2 weeks after surgery to examine your progress and to discuss pathology and further treatments.

All cancer patients are discussed in a multi-disciplinary meeting with other cancer specialists and specialist involved in their care to determine the best treatments to ensure the cancer has been eradicated and will not return.

Radiation therapy is almost always recommended after lumpectomy to reduce the chances of local recurrence.

Complications of lumpectomy include bleeding, infection, pain, swelling, scar tissue formation, a change in the size and shape of the breast.