Lumpectomy is the removal of cancer in the breast. Healthy breast and lymph nodes may also be removed.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will review problems that may happen, such as:

  • Infection
  • Numbness and loss of feeling
  • Breasts that do not match in size or shape
  • Anesthesia problems
  • Lymphedema —swelling of the arm caused by a build up of fluid in the lymph nodes
  • Excess bleeding
  • Build up of blood or fluid

Some factors that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking



This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.

a (Partial Mastectomy; Segmentectomy; Tylectomy)

To see an animated version of this procedure, click Procedure InMotion .


American Cancer Society 

Breast Cancer 


Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation 

Canadian Cancer Society 


Breast cancer in women. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2021.

Exercises after breast surgery. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2021.

Lumpectomy. Encyclopedia of Surgery website. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2021.

Lumpectomy: What to expect. Breast Cancer website. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2021.

Torres Lacomba M, Yuste Sánchez MJ, Zapico Goñi A, et al. Effectiveness of early physiotherapy to prevent lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer: randomised, single blinded, clinical trial. BMJ. 2010;340:b5396.