Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a lumpectomy be very painful?"
I am 37 and will soon have my fifrst lumpectomy. Will it be very painful?
First of all I am sorry to hear that you are needing to undergo a lumpectomy. This is a very good question, and one that you should definitely discuss with your breast surgeon as they will be able to give you a much more directed and accurate answer for your particular case. However with that being said, I am happy to give you some general information about different techniques for breast biopsy, and what exactly they entail. Breast biopsy techniques vary a significant amount and range from needle biopsies to open surgical techniques. Needle biopsies are obviously less invasive then open surgical techniques, and as a result are not typically associated with a significant amount of pain or discomfort afterwards. However in some instances more tissue is needed for diagnosis, or a more definitive procedure is needed, so an open surgical technique is preferred. When speaking of open surgical techniques, there are a multitude of variations, but they can be very generally split into incisional biopsy (where a piece of the mass is removed) and excisional biopsy (where the entire mass is removed). Any open surgical technique obviously means that there has to be an incision in the skin (even if it is small), and some surgical manipulation of the breast tissues. Thus there is a higher likelihood of having some discomfort as compared to percutaneous techniques. Although these procedures are generally well tolerated. I hope this helps. I would definitely recommend discussing this with your breast surgeon.
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