Breast Cancer Surgery
Your breast cancer treatment at MedStar Franklin Square will integrate several different components, based on what your doctors find during your breast cancer diagnosis.
If surgery is part of the treatment, your doctors will help you choose from among the options, lumpectomy or mastectomy. Reconstructive surgery of the breast(s) is one of our areas of expertise, and our plastic and breast surgeons will discuss all your possible options with you.
Lumpectomy or Breast Conserving Surgery
As part of your treatment, you will have surgery to remove the cancer. One type of surgery is a partial mastectomy (removal of a portion of the breast), known as a lumpectomy. A lumpectomy removes the cancerous breast tissue but leaves healthy tissue behind. The major advantages of breast-conserving surgery include the appearance of the breast and faster healing time.
Mastectomy is surgery to remove the breast completely, taking the cancerous tumor with it. Surgery that removes both breasts is called bilateral mastectomy. Some women choose to have a bilateral mastectomy even when cancer is found only in one breast.
It is important to know that recent advances in breast cancer surgery have changed mastectomies. Now, depending on the location of the cancer, your surgeons can remove the breast tissue, but leave some skin. Later, depending on when you decide to have breast reconstructive surgery, your surgeons can use that tissue to reconstruct a more natural looking and feeling breast.
Learn more about mastectomy from our health library.
Sentinel Node Biopsy
Traditionally, surgeons have removed all lymph nodes in the area closest to the cancer to prevent the spread of the disease, but in the majority of patients, the lymphatic system is not involved. Sentinel node biopsy allows our doctors to identify those lymph nodes at risk for cancer spread and if they are normal, no additional lymph nodes need to be removed. If cancer cells spread from the breast, they are carried to distant organs through the lymphatic system, beginning with the sentinel (or "guard") lymph nodes.
An hour before surgery, you will receive an injection in the breast that contains a radioactive substance. A second injection of a blue dye is given in the operating room. The contents of these injections migrate to the first lymph nodes in its path. Your doctors will remove and examine the lymph nodes. The results of this biopsy will help your doctors decide on your course of treatment.
To make an appointment, or find out more about The Breast Center, please call 443-777-6500.