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Lumpectomy and Quadrantectomy

A Lumpectomy Compared To A Quadrantectomy

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A lumpectomy 

  • Removes only the breast lump and a surrounding margin of normal tissue. 
  • Surgery is usually performed in a hospital on an out patient basis so you go home the same day.
  • With a lumpectomy, you are left with a scar and sometimes a dimpling of the skin which can be filled in by a plastic surgeon - often at the same time as the lumpectomy.
  • Radiation therapy  is usually given after a lumpectomy. If chemotherapy is to be given as well, radiation is usually delayed until the chemotherapy is completed.

For questions to ask before going home after receiving a lumpectomy, see the document in "To Learn More."

A quadrantectomy 

  • Removes more breast tissue than a lumpectomy. For a quadrantectomy, one-quarter of the breast is removed. 
  • Surgery usually involves a one day stay in a hospital.
  • The breast is generally smaller following this surgery.
  • The breast can be reconstructed - often at the same time as the quadrantectomy surgery. 
  • As a general matter, if the initial surgery is covered by health insurance, so is breast reconstruction.
  • Radiation therapy is usually given after surgery. Radiation therapy may be delayed if chemotherapy is also to be given.

For information about removal of the entire breast, see Mastectomy

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