Breast Surgery And The Various Procedures Used

By Jerri Perry


For women that suffer from breast cancer, the best way to recover is to go for breast surgery. This is the only way in which cancerous tumors can be removed. The options available are numerous, among them mastectomy and breast-conserving surgeries. Surgeons can reconstruct breasts during the surgical procedure, or do it afterwards. Surgeries will also be used to check lymph nodes to ensure there is no spread of the cells. The two options of doing this are axillary dissection and sentinel lymph node biopsy.

Surgeries for breast conservation are also known as partial mastectomy. It involves getting rid of parts of breasts that have cancerous cells. The size of portions removed will be dependent on size and location of the tumors. There are instances when radiation therapy would have to be given after surgical operation, in which case surgeons will place small metallic chips within the breasts. The function of these is to mark areas that will undergo treatments through radiation. The chips will show in x-rays.

Lumpectomy involves getting rid of the tumors and the surrounding margins that have normal tissue. This procedure will be followed by radiation therapy. There however are times when chemotherapy needs to be given. In such instances, radiation gets delayed until chemotherapy is done with.

Quadrantectomy involves removal of more tissue than is the case in lumpectomy. In this procedure, there is removal of one quarter of the breast, hence the name. It is after the surgical procedure is completed that radiation is done. Just like in lumpectomy, radiation would have to be delayed if chemotherapy was to be given as well.

In case the cells are at any of the edges of tissues that are removed, they are said to have positive margins. In the event that no cancerous cells are found at the edges of these tissues, then they will be said to have clear margins. When the positive margins are there, it implies that there could be some cancerous cells left behind. This would require that the surgeon goes back and removes more tissues in an operation referred to as re-excision. If the margins cannot be cleared properly through tissue removal, mastectomy may be required.

The possible side effects of the entire procedure should be discussed with the surgeon well in advance. Some of the side effects include tenderness, temporary swelling, pain and hard scar tissue. Just like is the case with all surgical operations, bleeding and infections are big possibilities. One should be well aware of these effects before consenting to undergo treatment.

In the event that large portions of breasts are removed, their shape is bound to be considerably affected. This will make them look not only different but also unsymmetrical. This will call for reconstructive surgery. Alternatively, there are instances when unaffected breasts get reduced in size so that symmetry is achieved. Such reduction can be done during the first surgical procedure.

When considering breast surgery, it is essential to meet the doctor or plastic surgeon beforehand so as to have an idea of how breasts will appear after the procedure. It is then that one may discuss options that are available for correcting any anomaly. Patients will be more confident.




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Breast Surgery And The Various Procedures Used



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