(Partial Mastectomy; Segmentectomy; Tylectomy)
Reasons for Procedure
- Accumulation of blood in the wound
- Accumulation of clear fluid in the wound
- Numbness of the nipple or underarm skin
- Change in the size and/or shape of the breast
- Blood clots
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Poor nutrition
- Recent or long-term illness
- Use of certain medicines
- Characteristics of the tumor to be removed
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam
- Mammogram —this test uses radiation to take a picture of the breasts.
- Fine needle biopsy of the breast
- Blood and urine tests
- Wire-localization procedure—if the tumor was visible on mammogram, but is not able to be felt, the doctor will use a wire to mark the tumor.
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel or warfarin
Description of Procedure
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Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- Keep the surgical area clean and dry.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- You may have one or more tubes to drain blood and fluids while you heal. Empty the drains, measure the fluid, and report any problems.
- If tubes were placed, they will be removed in the doctor's office 1-2 days later.
- Avoid vigorous activity for about four weeks, or as directed by your doctor.
- Try not to lift anything heavier than five pounds for about a week or longer if directed by your doctor.
- Wear a well-fitting, very supportive bra 24 hours a day for the first week.
- Do not have blood pressure taken, blood drawn, or shots given in that arm.
- Wear gloves to do dishes, household scrubbing, and yard work.
- Do not wear anything tight on that arm, including elastic in sleeves.
- Do not carry heavy packages, purses, suitcases, grocery bags, etc. with that arm.
- Keep the skin of that arm well-moisturized with a lanolin-containing product.
- Use an electric shaver if you wish to shave your armpits.
- If you had lymph nodes in your armpit removed during breast cancer surgery, participating in a physical therapy program may help to prevent lymphedema.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- If you have drains, report any problems that your doctor has discussed with you
- Oozing or discharge from nipples on either breast
- A lump, redness, or swelling in either breast
- If lymph nodes were removed: redness, warmth, swelling, stiffness, or hardness in the arm or hand
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery or that persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
- New, unexplained symptoms
American Cancer Society www.cancer.org
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation http://www.cbcf.org
Women's Web http://www.womensweb.ca
American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org.
1/22/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Torres Lacomba M, Yuste Sánchez MJ, Zapico Goñi A, et al. Effectiveness of early physiotherapy to prevent lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer: randomised, single blinded, clinical trial. BMJ. 2010;340:b5396.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013 -