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2792 An introduction to breast surgery

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Following your attendance at an assessment clinic, you will be aware that you may have breast cancer. We appreciate that whilst the diagnosis is not yet certain, it is really helpful to have information about what is involved in the event that we find that you do indeed have breast cancer. As a result, we have created this video so that you know that there is a well developed programme of care to treat your cancer and support available to you whilst you recover. This video will therefore provide you with a brief summary of the investigations we may undertake and the treatments that we may recommend to treat your cancer. You will be supported throughout by your surgeon and the breast care team, and our aim is to help you understand what is involved, the decisions you need to make, and provide you with support and guidance along the way. If we find that you do have breast cancer, you will meet with your surgeon to discuss the most appropriate surgical approach for you. There are two main procedures and generally, the decision is dependent upon the size of the lump you have in relation to the size of your breast. Where possible, we offer an operation called a “wide local excision” which removes the lump and a margin of healthy breast tissue. Alternatively, we may have to remove the whole breast which is called a “mastectomy” You will also discuss the need for other treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and the options for reconstruction, if necessary. 
 We need to obtain your consent to the procedures that we undertake. Your surgeon will talk you through the operation and the tests, and explain the risks so that you can make a decision about what you want to happen. When you come in to hospital for your surgery there a number procedures that will take place to both remove the lump and to find out if the cancer involves the lymph nodes. Before your surgery, we may need to identify the precise location of your lump. Depending on the size of the lump we may use a skin marker pen, or if you have a very small lump or a lump that is very deep in the breast, making it difficult to feel, a small wire will be inserted into the cancer to direct your surgeon during the operation. A key part of of the investigations we undertake involves identifying whether the cancer has involved the lymph nodes near your breast using an approach called a sentinel lymph node biopsy. The lymph nodes are part of the body's drainage system and there are a number of them in your breast and in your armpit. To find this out we need to inject special fluids in to your breast. These act as markers for the surgeon so that one or more of your lymph nodes can be removed for testing during surgery. Once you have been taken to theatre you will be given anaesthetic drugs through a vein to let you sleep during surgery. If you are having a sentinel lymph node biopsy, your surgeon will begin by removing one or more of your lymph nodes for testing. After that, the surgeon will remove the breast cancer in your breast, either by a wide local excision or a mastectomy. The surgery usually lasts between 1 to 2 hours and once your operation is complete you will go to the recovery room. Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be left with a drain in place to remove any fluid build up under your skin. Most patients are able to go home on the same day as their operation, but depending on the surgery and your home circumstances you may be admitted to hospital for a few days. The time it takes you to recover depends mainly on the type of surgery that you have. For most operations it should be just a few days, but for bigger operations such as a breast reconstruction it can be a few weeks. The tissue from your breast and your lymph nodes will then be sent for testing to our pathologists to identify the extent and type of your cancer. These results will be available about a week later and an appointment will be arranged with you to discuss the findings and the next steps in your treatment. We hope that this video is helpful and enables you to better understand the way in which we will care for you if we do find that you have a breast cancer. We know that you will have a lot of questions to ask and we recommend that you write these down before your appointment so that you don't forget to ask anything that is important to you.

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Duration: 4 minutes and 19 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 11
Posted by: richardwh on Nov 16, 2015

2792 An introduction to breast surgery

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