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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I am grateful to Miss Roy for her kindness, honesty, reassuring manner and excellent skills. I would never wish breast cancer on anyone but should they find it befalls them and they have you as their surgeon, they will be quick to realize that they have one of the best, who will do all in her power to make them well again. I sincerely thank you for giving my life back.