Lumpectomy, Breast Conserving Surgery

Care After

ExitCare ImagePlease read the instructions outlined below and refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your surgeon may also give you specific instructions. While your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, unavoidable complications occasionally occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, please call your surgeon.

Reasons for a lumpectomy:

  • Any solid breast mass.

  • Grouped significant nodularity that may be confused with a solitary breast mass.


  • After surgery, you will be taken to the recovery area where a nurse will watch and check your progress. Once you're awake, stable, and taking fluids well, barring other problems you will be allowed to go home.

  • Ice packs applied to your operative site may help with discomfort and keep the swelling down.

  • A small rubber drain may be placed in the incision for a couple of days to prevent a hematoma in the breast.

  • A pressure dressing may be applied for 24 to 48 hours to prevent bleeding.

  • Keep the wound dry.

  • You may resume a normal diet and activities as directed. Avoid strenuous activities affecting the arm on the side of the biopsy site such as tennis, swimming, heavy lifting (more than 10 pounds) or pulling.

  • Bruising in the breast is normal following this procedure.

  • Wearing a bra - even to bed - may be more comfortable and also help keep the dressing on.

  • Change dressings as directed.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

Call for your results as instructed by your surgeon. Remember it is your responsibility to get the results of your lumpectomy if your surgeon asked you to follow-up. Do not assume everything is fine if you have not heard from your caregiver.


  • There is increased bleeding (more than a small spot) from the wound.

  • You notice redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound.

  • Pus is coming from wound.

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops.

  • You notice a foul smell coming from the wound or dressing.


  • You develop a rash.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You have any allergic problems.