Surgery for breast cancer

There are different types of surgery for breast cancer. Find out more about breast surgery and what to expect afterwards.

Types of breast cancer surgery

There are different types of surgery for breast cancer, including mastectomy, breast conserving surgery, lymph node removal, and breast reconstruction.

Surgery to remove breast cancer (breast conserving surgery)

Find out about surgery to remove a cancer from the breast. Doctors call this operation breast conserving surgery, a wide local excision or lumpectomy.

Surgery to remove your breast (mastectomy)

A mastectomy is surgery to remove all of the breast.

Choosing between breast conserving surgery or mastectomy

Depending on your situation, your surgeon might recommend that you have a particular operation. Or you might have a choice of operations to consider.

Breast reconstruction

Find out about the different types of surgery to make a new breast shape after removal of breast cancer. Read about the benefits and possible problems.

Surgery to remove lymph nodes

It is important to know if there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes in the armpit and how many. This helps the doctors work out the stage of your cancer and plan the best treatment for you.

Preparing for surgery

Before your breast surgery, you have tests to check your fitness and you meet members of your treatment team.

Going into hospital

You usually go into hospital on the day of your breast surgery. 

On the day of surgery

There are a few things to do before you go to theatre for your breast surgery. 

After breast cancer surgery

Read about what happens after breast surgery, exercises you need to do, and how to cope with possible problems.

Last reviewed: 
09 Oct 2020
Next review due: 
09 Oct 2023
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