December 3, 2009

Removal of Breast Lump

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Breast lump removal is the process in which a lump in the beast is removed through a surgical procedure. This is generally carried out in an outpatient clinic and general or local anesthesia is administered to the patient. The procedure can take several hours depending on the size and location of the lump. An incision is made on the breast tissue and the lump along with some of the surrounding tissue is removed. If the lump is not cancerous, then a small amount of breast tissue is extracted along with the lump. However, if the lump is cancerous, then the amount of tissue that the surgeon needs to remove will depend on the kind of breast cancer and the extent to which it has spread. After the lump removal, the incision is closed with stitches. These can be either removed later or they may dissolve on their own. Excess fluid may be eliminated with the help of a drain tube. The lump is then sent to the laboratory where it is tested. If the lump contains cancerous cells, the lymph nodes of the arm pit may also need to be removed. For this, the surgeon will make another incision in the arm pit area. After extraction, the lymph nodes are also sent for testing for cancer. This is known as staging, a process which helps the doctor in planning the appropriate treatment.

Benign Breast Lump

This procedure is carried out in order to diagnose and decide on the treatment for a certain area of the breast. Before this procedure, the doctor generally does a needle biopsy, in which tissue from the lump is removed. A mammography may also be done. If the needle biopsy has detected cancer, then some more tests are carried out in order to determine if and how much the cancer has spread. Breast lump removal may also be done if a benign tumor or fibro adenoma is present in the breast. Growth of cysts may also call for such a procedure. The fluid from the cyst is first drained. If the lump persists, even after the fluid is drained, then surgery may be required to remove it.

After the breast lump removal, it is likely that the individual will experience pain and tenderness in the area. The appearance of the breast may also change, since a part of it has been removed. Depending on the size of the lump and where it was located, there may be scarring or dimpling of the skin. It is possible that microscopic remnants of the lump may be still left, and this would have to be removed with another surgical procedure. As with any surgery the risks could include infection and bleeding. Recovery after the surgery usually takes place in a week or two. If cancer has been detected, the required course of treatment will follow.