WLE (Wide Local Excision) refers to remove the cancer with a margin of normal breast tissue whilst maintaining the breast shape as near as normal. You would be advised if that’s suitable for you. The surgeon would make the scar as least visible as possible although that’s not always possible. Some people get more prominent scars (hypertrophic scars and keloids), that could impair a good aesthetic outcome.
The commonly placed scars for lumpectomy are around the areola (coloured portion) or in the outer breast crease. You would be advised of the scar placement options, which depends on the size and location of the tumour. There is a 10-15% risk of needing further surgery with this approach, if total clearance of the tumour is not achieved with the first operation. This is a quick recovery surgery, often performed as day-case. If the cancer cannot be get by the surgeon, often the case with cancers detected by screening mammogram, then you would require a wire insertion by the radiologist, before the surgery.
EIDO Information Leaflet on WLE (400 KB)
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Any woman on being told she has breast cancer is bound to be in a state of shock. However, the measured and systematic way in which Miss Roy told me the news, allowed me to absorb it and then helped me to understand there was a future, was so helpful. She “held my hand” through the process and gave me immense confidence. She never gave me false hope, but was reassuring at all times. My scar has healed beautifully, a tribute to her skills and the advice she gave in after care.
Miss Roy is a truly talented and lovely person and someone in whom I have had total confidence, even at my lowest moments. I thank her and I am sure you will.