Breast Conserving Surgery

BCS is when breast cancer is removed with a rim of normal breast tissue, preserving the rest of the breast. BCS is done as an alternative to mastectomy (removal of the whole breast) when the breast cancer size is relatively smaller to the breast size and when the cancer is noted in only one area of the breast. Usually BCS is followed by radiotherapy after surgery. Other treatments like chemotherapy and hormone therapy are not influenced by the type of surgery. There is no difference in survival rates when it comes to BCS or mastectomy.

BCS can be done along with some reconstructive procedures to preserve the shape of the breast. This involves using the tissues surrounding the breast to fill in the defect created by removal of the tumour. This is known as oncoplastic breast surgery. Sometimes with large breasts, while removing the tumour, the breast may be reshaped to give better cosmetic results. This may lead to a smaller sized breast on the treated side. The normal breast can be reshaped to match the treated breast at a later stage, if the patient wishes for it.

For both simple breast conserving surgery and oncoplastic breast surgery, you will need to have routine tests done to check your health status and assess your fitness for general anaesthesia and surgery. These procedures usually take 60-120 minutes. For the majority of the time, you will be advised to stay in the hospital for one night for observation. You will be advised to carry a sports bra along with you to use after surgery to provide good support.