What Is A Lumpectomy?
A lumpectomy usually removes the least amount of breast tissue needed to get the tumor out and a margin of healthy tissue around it. The surgeon removes the cancer and a small portion or margin of the surrounding tissue, but not the breast itself. Even though the lumpectomy is the least invasive breast cancer surgery, it can still be very effective, and further surgery may not be needed.
What happens when more tissue needs to be taken?
If more tissue needs to be taken, the surgeon may perform a partial mastectomy. This procedure requires the surgeon to remove a larger portion of the breast than in the lumpectomy — perhaps a whole segment or quadrant of tissue — in order to eliminate the cancer. Occasionally, the surgeon will remove some of the lining over the chest muscles as well.