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Lumpectomy and Breast Conservation

At all times, our team of breast cancer specialists is committed to preserving as much of the natural look and feel of a woman’s breast as possible. At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, our breast surgical oncologists and reconstructive surgeons are constantly developing new breast conservation techniques, including oncoplastic surgery for women needing a large lumpectomy. More than 90 percent of eligible breast cancer patients at our Breast Center have breast conservation surgery, compared to only 65 percent nationally.

When is a woman a good candidate for a lumpectomy?

Lumpectomies have become more common for women who have smaller tumors. The tumor in the breast is removed along with some of the surrounding tissue. Recovery time for a lumpectomy is usually just several days.

Our breast surgeons perform hundreds of these surgeries a year and are sensitive to how vital a woman’s breasts are to her self-esteem, emotional well being and sexual identity. Your surgeon will discuss ways to minimize lumpectomy scars so you feel the impact of the surgery as little as possible. Our surgeons also take steps to reduce the appearance of loss of volume wherever possible. Women who are candidates for breast conserving surgery have one tumor in the breast that is easily removed with surrounding tissue to yield a good cosmetic result.

Those who are not candidates include:

  • Patients with multiple tumors in the breast occupying several different quadrants
  • Those who have had lumpectomy with radiation in the past
  • Those who have had mantle radiation for treatment of other types of cancer as a child or young adult
  • Those who refuse to have radiation after lumpectomy for personal reasons

If you should need a mastectomy or reconstructive breast surgery, our breast plastic and reconstructive surgeons are nationally known for their expertise in these areas. Discuss each and every option with your surgical team and be an active part of the decision-making process. You can control the future outcome of your health and post surgical satisfaction if you are armed with as much information as possible and if you actively participate in the decisions about your surgery.


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