What are the contraindications for lumpectomy?

Updated: Dec 24, 2019
  • Author: Kanchan Kaur, MBBS, MS (GenSurg), MRCSEd; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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A lumpectomy is not recommended without prior needle biopsy confirmation of the nature of the breast mass.

For proven cancers, a lumpectomy may be contraindicated because of the size of the lump or contraindications to radiotherapy.

When excision of the lump would involve removing more than 30% of the breast tissue, a lumpectomy is not recommended. In general, 3-4 cm is considered to be the safe cutoff for lumpectomy in medium to large breasts.

Patients undergoing lumpectomy for cancer must undergo postoperative radiotherapy to the chest wall to reduce the risk of local recurrence. A lumpectomy must not be performed for patients with severe psoriasis, sarcoidosis, or previous chest wall radiotherapy.

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