A lumpectomy is the removal of small breast tumors and other abnormalities. A lumpectomy can help treat abnormal tissue while leaving most of the breast intact.
At Cayman Island Surgery Center, we offer lumpectomy to all Grand Cayman residents and visitors who are good candidates for this procedure. Our general surgeon, Dr. Tanja Ebanks, has extensive experience in treating breast conditions and works closely with oncologists and plastic surgeons to help her patients get all necessary treatment on the Islands.
What Is a Lumpectomy?
A lumpectomy is surgery to remove breast cancer or other abnormal breast tissue. Also known as breast-conserving therapy, it is a less extensive alternative to a mastectomy, which involves the removal of most of or the entire breast.
Your surgeon may recommend a lumpectomy as opposed to a mastectomy if:
- You were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ, stage I and some stage II breast cancers)
- You have a single, localized tumor, meaning it has not spread to surrounding breast tissue
- You are relatively healthy and thus able to radiation therapy post surgery
During this procedure, surgeons remove the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue called the margin. This is then sent to a pathologist who will look for cancer cells in the margin. If no cancer cells are found, the surgery was successful and the tumor was removed in its entirety. In addition to removing the margin, surgeons also remove lymph nodes near the armpits to check if the cancer has spread. This is known as Sentinel Node Biopsy, a critical part of breast cancer treatment that we regularly perform at Cayman Islands Surgery Center. Dr. Ebanks relies on state-of-the-art techniques and instruments when performing lumpectomies. If you require treatment that is not within the scope of what we offer at our facility, Dr. Ebanks has an extensive referral list, and she will refer you to specialists usually in the United States if needed. For patients with multiple breast concerns, Dr. Ebanks is prepared to help you get the screening and treatment you need to regain optimal breast health.
Benefits of a Lumpectomy
A lumpectomy is less invasive and less extensive than removal of the entire breast. Not only does this surgery spare most of the breast, but it also leads to shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery. All in all, the main benefits of a lumpectomy are:
- Preserves the appearance of and sensation in the breast
- Often no need for Breast Reconstruction post-surgery
- Can be performed on an outpatient basis
- Quicker recovery time of a few days to a week
- Overall survival is the same as with a mastectomy, when combined with radiation
Preparing for a Lumpectomy
We will guide you on appropriate preparations for your surgery. In general, pre-surgery planning involves speaking to your doctor about any concerns and questions you might have as well as writing a list of all your medications. Before your surgery, you will most likely need to:
- Undergo a physical exam and additional medical workups, like blood tests and EKG.
- Stop taking blood-thinning medication and supplements, including fish oil and omega-3 supplements.
- Bring your health documents, insurance card and ID card with you on the day of your surgery.
- Take at least two days off work, starting with the day of your surgery.
- Fast and avoid drinking for eight to 12 hours before surgery if undergoing general anesthesia. This is to prevent choking and other complications.
- Plan to have someone drive you back home following surgery. Anesthesia can make you drowsy and impair your ability to drive.
We may also recommend bringing a comfortable, supportive bra that you’ll wear after your surgery. Avoid shaving near the surgical site, and don’t apply lotion on the day of your procedure.
The Day of Your Surgery
Before undergoing the actual surgery, Dr. Ebanks or a radiologist will first need to locate the tumor. This is done with ultrasound or a different imaging technique and thin wires, magnetic or radioactive material. This helps Dr. Ebanks find the tumor, especially if it is small and difficult to locate.
General anesthesia will put you in a sleep-like state. Dr. Ebanks will make an incision near the tumor site, remove the tumor and close the incision with sutures.
After your lumpectomy procedure is complete, you will be moved to the recovery room until you are awake. The nurses will monitor you during this time. You will likely be able to go home on the day of your procedure or after an overnight stay.
Contact Cayman Islands Surgery Center
If you have received a breast cancer diagnosis or are worried you may have breast cancer, reach out to Cayman Islands Surgery Center today. Lumpectomies are most commonly used as a primary treatment for women in the earliest stages of breast cancer, especially if the tumor is restricted to one area in the breast.
Please call our offices at +1 345 946 0067 to schedule a consultation and discuss the best treatment option with Dr. Ebanks. You can also fill out our online contact form to have a staff member call you at a more convenient time. You can message Cayman Surgery directly at email@example.com
Does a lumpectomy leave scar tissue?
Yes, a lumpectomy does leave some scar tissue. The area where the tumor used to be will have a visible scar and even a dimple depending on tumor size. Dr. Ebanks aims to minimize this problem with her surgical techniques and recovery protocols.
How long is the recovery from a lumpectomy?
It typically takes two to seven days to recover from a lumpectomy procedure. How quickly patients recover depends on the extent of their surgery, tumor size, whether general anesthesia was used and their overall health.
What is the success rate of lumpectomy?
According to several studies, if combined with adjuvant radiation therapy, the survival is the same as after a mastectomy. The disease free survival is shorter, at which stage most women would opt for a mastectomy then. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that the success rate of lumpectomy is high.
Should I have a lumpectomy or mastectomy?
Your breast surgeon and oncologist will explain the pros and cons of each procedure for your particular case. Breast cancer is a highly variable disease, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to choosing the best treatment modality.
Is lumpectomy covered by insurance in the Cayman Islands?
Yes, a lumpectomy is defined as a medical necessity and should be covered by your insurance company, according to your benefits, if you’re a resident or citizen of the Cayman Islands.