Lumpectomy & Biopsy

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Facing breast cancer is scary. You may be worried about losing your breast. But treatment has come a long way. And at UVA Health, you'll find experts who specialize in lumpectomy and other types of breast-conserving surgery. They have the expertise to know if you're a good candidate for this type of therapy.

Why UVA Health for Breast Cancer Surgery?

At UVA Health, you'll find a Breast Care Center of Excellence, designated by the American College of Radiology and accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. 

Our surgical oncologists are highly trained in performing cancer surgery on the breast. Our surgeons do a lot of lumpectomies. This gives our patients the best possible outcomes. They're also expertly skilled in:

  • Excisional biopsy
  • Partial mastectomy
  • Skin and nipple-sparing mastectomy
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Axillary dissection
  • Port insertion
  • Level 1 Oncoplastics - a cosmetic approach that minimizes signs of an operation

We use the latest technology. Radar localization technology makes removing a cancer lump easier and more precise. It also helps us remove less healthy breast tissue.

Lumpectomy or Mastectomy?

A lumpectomy may be recommended over a mastectomy (removing the entire breast). Lumpectomy is often done if the tumor is small and confined to one area of the breast. 

With a lumpectomy, the surgeon removes the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue from the breast. This preserves as much of the breast as possible. This is a common and important treatment option, especially in the early stages of the disease.

Our breast surgeons have the expertise to determine if lumpectomy is right for you. It depends on several factors:  

  • Size and location of the tumor
  • Stage of the cancer
  • Your overall health and treatment goals

Lymph Node Biopsy or Removal

Patients who are treated with breast-conserving surgery may also have some of the lymph nodes removed. These are located under the arm.

This procedure is called lymph node biopsy or dissection. It may be done at the same time as the breast-conserving surgery or after. Lymph node surgery is done through a separate incision. There are 2 main types: 

  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB): This means removing a small number of primary lymph nodes. It's done to determine the stage and extent of breast cancer. This helps your cancer team guide other treatments. 
  • Axillary lymph node dissection (ALND): This means removing most of the lymph nodes under the arm. It's also done to stage and treat breast cancer.

Removing lymph nodes can lead to a condition known as lymphedema. Before lymph node surgery, we can test your lymphatic system to see if you're at risk for lymphedema. Learn more about our extensive lymphedema care program.

Treatment After a Lumpectomy

A lumpectomy is typically followed by radiation therapy. This helps destroy any remaining cancer cells. For you, this means less worry about the cancer returning. In some cases, chemotherapy or hormone therapy may also be recommended after surgery.

Every case of breast cancer is different. At UVA Health, you'll find healthcare professionals who can evaluate your specific situation and provide personalized recommendations.

We're right in your neighborhood. Our Haymarket Medical Center and Prince William Medical Center locations, as well as our central Virginia surgery centers, offer high safety and quality ratings.

We're Here For You

We’ll schedule an appointment at a location convenient for you. And so we can best meet your needs, we’ll need your medical records at least 24 hours in advance before confirming your first appointment.