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Breast Cancer Reoperation Rates Vary, Study Finds

Undergoing breast cancer surgery once can be trying for any woman. Having to return to the operating room within months of the first procedure, can be especially difficult. Unfortunately, a number of reasons can make this eventuality arise, including concerns about clean margins and surgical complications. The good news is that a recent study found that the number of reoperation rates at least in New York State is on the decline for those who underwent breast conservation surgery. The need for doctors to go back in varied greatly based on individual surgeons.

The study in question looked at data related to nearly 90,000 patients in New York State between 2003 and 2013. The overall reoperation rate within the first 90 days of the initial surgery was just under 31 percent. This represented a decrease from earlier years’ data. Researchers also found that reoperation rates varied greatly from surgeon to surgeon.

Breast conserving surgery, also known as a lumpectomy, is designed to remove a cancerous tumor while preserving as much of the surrounding healthy breast tissue as possible. The surgery is favored in low-risk cancer cases because it is generally less invasive and poses a lower risk for complications than a mastectomy or double mastectomy might. Even so, the need to go back in and remove more tissue or correct complications that arise does exist with this procedure as it does many other cancer-related surgeries.

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are urged to discuss all treatment options with their healthcare providers. The best course of action will depend on the particular case in question. When feasible, a lumpectomy may enable a woman to preserve appearance while also fighting cancer. The need for reoperation to ensure satisfactory removal of cancer cells or to correct complications may arise with this procedure like many others.


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