Lumpectomy is the removal of the breast cancer (the "lump") and some of the normal tissue that surrounds it (a margin). Lumpectomy is a form of breast conserving surgery.

There are several names used for breast-conserving surgery:

  • Excision
  • Lumpectomy
  • Partial Mastectomy
  • Re-excision
  • Quadrantectomy
  • Wedge Resection

Technically, a lumpectomy is a partial mastectomy because part of the breast tissue is removed. The amount of tissue removed can vary greatly.

  • For breast cancers that are palpable (cancers we can feel), surgery removes the palpable area and a rim of normal tissue (the margin).
  • For breast cancers we cannot feel (non-palpable), a localization procedure is done to help identify the abnormality prior to surgery so the surgeon knows what area and margin to remove. This can be done with a mammogram localization or an ultrasound localization.

Some women who are lumpectomy candidates may be interested in oncoplastic techniques.