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Breast Conserving Surgery

Breast conserving surgery, a vital procedure for many diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, focuses on removing the cancer while preserving as much of the breast tissue as possible. Our expert surgical teams combine compassion with cutting-edge care to guide you through this journey toward recovery.

Also known as: lumpectomy, wide local excision, partial mastectomy.

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Everything You Need to Know

Breast conserving surgery is a beacon of hope for those wishing to treat breast cancer without resorting to complete mastectomy. Ideal for certain stages of breast cancer, this procedure involves removing the tumour and a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue, ensuring the cancer is excised while retaining the breast’s shape and appearance as much as possible.

Understanding the journey ahead is crucial for peace of mind and effective treatment. From the moment you step into St John & Elizabeth Hospital, our dedicated team is here to support you with comprehensive care, from initial consultation through recovery. We tailor the treatment plan to suit your unique needs, ensuring the highest standards of care and the best possible outcomes. Facing breast cancer can be daunting, but you’re not alone. Our team is committed to providing the support, expertise, and reassurance you need every step of the way.

Before Surgery

The first step on your path to recovery is a detailed consultation with one of our leading breast cancer specialists. This meeting is crucial for discussing your medical history, the specifics of your diagnosis, and the tailored treatment plan, including breast conserving surgery. We may consider diagnostic imaging or a biopsy to ensure the most effective approach for your unique situation.

Preparing for your surgery includes adhering to specific instructions from your surgical team. These might involve medication adjustments, fasting guidelines, and pre-surgical screenings. Our priority is to make sure you feel fully prepared and at ease with the process ahead, providing clear guidance and support at every turn.

During Surgery

At St John & Elizabeth Hospital, your comfort and safety during breast conserving surgery are paramount. Our state-of-the-art facilities and compassionate care team ensure a supportive environment from your arrival to recovery.

Arrival and Preparation

Upon your arrival, our welcoming staff will guide you through the final steps before your surgery. This includes a review of your medical history and any last-minute questions to ensure you’re completely ready for the procedure.


Breast conserving surgery typically requires general anaesthesia, ensuring you’re asleep and pain-free throughout. Our experienced anaesthetists are dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable experience, tailoring their approach to your specific needs.

The Surgery

Our breast cancer specialists employ advanced surgical techniques tailored to remove the cancer effectively while striving to preserve the appearance and function of your breast. The extent of tissue removal depends on the tumour’s size and location, with our team committed to keeping you informed and comfortable every step of the way.

Immediate Aftercare

Following the removal of the tumour, we focus on closing the incision with care to promote healing and minimise scarring. You’ll receive detailed aftercare instructions and support from our team before you leave, ensuring you know what to expect during your recovery.

After Surgery

Recovery from breast conserving surgery at St John & Elizabeth Hospital is patient-centred, focusing on your comfort and the best possible outcome. Here’s what you can expect:

Immediate Post-Procedure Care

After the surgery, our team will provide comprehensive aftercare instructions, including wound care, signs to watch for indicating complications, and any medications to aid your recovery.

Recovery at Home

The recovery period varies depending on the individual and the surgery’s extent. Most patients can resume light activities within a few days, with specific guidance on avoiding strain to aid healing.

Follow-Up Visits

Follow-up appointments are crucial for assessing your recovery, reviewing pathology results to confirm the removal of cancer cells, and discussing any further treatment needed. Our dedicated team offers continuous support and reassurance throughout your recovery journey.

Medically reviewed by Mrs Jacqueline Lewis - FRCS(Glasg) FRCS(Plast) on 25/04/2024

How to pay for your treatment

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of consultant and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.


Initial Consultation

Your first step involves a comprehensive consultation with one of our specialised breast surgeons. This meeting is dedicated to understanding your condition, reviewing your medical history, and discussing any concerns you may have.


Pre-Op Assessment

To accurately assess the cancer and plan your surgery, we may perform additional tests, such as mammograms, ultrasounds, or biopsies. Our team is committed to providing detailed explanations and support throughout these diagnostics, making sure you feel informed and comfortable.


Treatment Plan

Based on the results of your assessments, we’ll collaboratively determine the best course of action. Our priority is to tailor a plan that addresses your needs and maximises your chances of a successful outcome.


Preparation Guidance

Once your treatment plan is established, we’ll provide you with specific instructions to prepare for surgery. This may include dietary guidelines, medication adjustments, or other necessary steps to ensure you’re ready for the procedure.

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