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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Being diagnosed with breast cancer is frightening but Ms Roy made the experience much more bearable. She explained all the options, she expedited all the tests and procedures as quickly as possible and I had complete confidence in her clinical judgement and care. In addition, she was concerned that the cosmetic result was as good as possible. That might not seem so important when you are initially diagnosed, but to be treated as a whole person from the start put things into perspective and made it much easier for me to cope with the whole process.