Breast lump excision

The operation is performed as a day case procedure and takes 40 - 60 minutes in theatre.

You will require a short general anaesthetic or a combination of local anaesthetic and sedation depending on the size and location of the lump. Further anaesthetic details are presented on a seperate information sheet. You will meet the anaethetist on the day of surgery and will have an opportunity to ask any questions that you may have before your procedure.

Partial Mastectomy

A cut is made in the skin. This is about 2 -5cm long. Wherever possible it is placed in a position around the areola or in the fold under the breast to produce a good cosmetic result.

Usually only a small piece of tissue is removed and this seldom causes any change in the shape or size of the breast. In some circumstances more breast tissue has to be taken and you may notice a change in the breast shape and size.

The cut is closed with a dissolving stitch and a plastic dressing is placed over the wound.

There will be a firm white pressure dressing over the breast, which can be removed after 24 hours. Beneath it is the clear plastic adhesive dressing. This is waterproof and you may bath or shower as normal. Leave it on until your follow up visit.

Recovery is quick, and you should be ready to leave hospital 2 - 3 hours later.

You will need someone to drive you home. If you live out of town it is wise to consider staying in Auckland overnight.

Expect to be up and about by the next day and you should be back to all usual activities (running, aerobics etc) within two weeks. Try to avoid unnecessary jolting or bumping, as the breast may be tender for a while.You may notice some bruising and this will settle over a couple of weeks. Taking arnica may help to speed tup this process.

Scar tissue sometimes causes lumpiness at the biopsy site and can take a few months to settle down.

You may notice decreased sensation in the skin around the biopsy site as small sensory nerves can be divided.

There is only a 1 - 2% chance of a complication following this procedure.

Bleeding within the breast causes swelling and pain within a few hours of surgery, and if severe may require going back into theatre.

Wound infection occasionally develops five to ten days after surgery causing redness, tenderness and perhaps a fever, and will require a course of antibiotics.

You will be seen for a follow-up consultation about one week later to check on the wound and discuss your results. Please ensure that you have this appointment.

If you have any concerns, please phone the clinic, or contact Mr Smith. If you require urgent attention and cannot get hold of Mr Smith immediately for any reason please see the doctors at the Ascot Accident and Emergency clinic which is open 24 hours daily.

Breast Care Book

Comprehensive Information and
advice on all aspects
of breast care.

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