St Helens and Knowsley Teaching HospitalsNHS Trust


Surgical Options

Lumpectomy (Wide local excision)
The breast lump is removed along with some surrounding local tissue.  The tissues will then be sent to the lab to be analysed by the pathologist. 

Most patients will need to have a course of radiotherapy to reduce the possibility of re-occurrence.

Some patients may require further surgery.

Some patients will require or opt for the removal of the whole breast tissue.  The muscles that support the breast are left intact. 

Post-operative radiotherapy may or may not be recommended.

At Whiston Hospital immediate reconstruction of the breast tissue is an available option.

Axillary Dissection
This may be performed in conjunction with the removal of breast tissue.  The lymph nodes are removed from the armpit (axilla).  This is done if the lymph nodes are palpable but may also be removed if they cannot be felt.  It is important to find out if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. The pathological reports on the nodes will determine future treatment.

Sentinel node biopsy
One or a few nodes are detected with the use of isotopes-tracer and/or blue dye. If the sentinel node is not involved with cancer cells, the risk of other nodes to be involved is minute hence the patient is sparted an axillary dissection.

This procedure is now available to patients at St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.