What Is Wide Excision and Axillary Clearance?
Wide excision and axillary clearance is the name given to the surgical treatment by which cancerous breast tissue and lymph glands from the armpit, known as axilla, are removed. It also facilitates removal of healthy breast tissue so that both kinds of samples can be compared relative to each other under a microscope. It is widely regarded as a viable first alternative to the more drastic mastectomy (or removal of the entire breast).
Eligibility for Wide Excision and Axillary Clearance
Chronic smoking and obesity may pose potential healthcare risks both before and after wide excision and axillary clearance. Hypertension and heart and lung-related disorders must also be ruled out prior to the surgery. Caution must also be exercised while dealing with patients who are on hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills.
Performing Wide Excision and Axillary Clearance
Wide excision and axillary clearance is performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made on the inflamed area of the breast which includes the lymph glands or axilla. More than one incision might be necessary to get to the axilla. A draining tube is inserted in to the breast to obtain tissue samples. Once this has been done, the wound is sutured and the tissue samples are sent for microscopic evaluation. The entire procedure may last for 45 minutes. The patient may experience moderate to severe pain necessitating the use of painkillers. Any healthcare advice given by the surgeon must be strictly adhered to. Results of the tests will be available about a week after the surgery.