Partial Mastectomy

What is a partial mastectomy?

A partial mastectomy or lumpectomy is an operation in which the surgeon removes the tumour along with some of the healthy breast tissue around it. This may be followed by a course of radiation to the remaining breast tissue.

Who is partial mastectomy suitable for?

A partial mastectomy is suitable for women who are medically able to undergo mastectomy surgery and follow-up treatments, and who have a tumour less than 3 centimeters across. Their breasts need to have enough tissue so that they will not become misshapen after removing some of tissue surrounding the tumour. This type of mastectomy surgery is not suitable for those who have had radiation to the same breast or for pregnant women and those with multiple breast tumours.

Why is a partial mastectomy done?

A partial mastectomy produces a better cosmetic result than a full mastectomy, but is only suitable for those women who meet the above criteria.

What is the process?

Partial mastectomy surgery normally takes one to two hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Lymph nodes are often assessed when the breast tissue is removed. Often a blue dye or small amount of radioactive material is injected which helps to identify which lymph nodes need to be removed and tested. Small metallic clips are situated inside the breast to mark the area to be treated by the radiotherapist. The removed tissue is sent to the lab to identify the type of cancer, whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and for additional specialized tests such as HER2.

Need to see someone?

Same day appointments may be available without a GP referral.

Call us on 0800 STMARKS or 09 520 0389

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