How long does lumpectomy & SNB surgery take?

Hi lovely ladies,

I’m going in for my op tomorrow afternoon and was wondering how long the surgery itself is likely to take and how long I’ll be in recovery.  My reason for asking is that my sister wants to visit me but I notice visiting hours end at 8pm and if my surgery isn’t until late in the afternoon I guess it’s possible that I won’t have come round enough to see visitors and I don’t want her to come all that way for nothing.



Hi Sharon, I went down into theatre at 2.45, and I came round in recovery about 4.15 but did not up onto ward until about 5.30 as I had a bit of a problem in recovery, nothing major. I had a cup of tea about 6 and OH had arrived by then and I picked up really quickly, the nurse and surgeon did their obs and all was okay and we got home about 7.30. A long day as I went in at 7am but for me I was lucky no overnight stay and my own bed that ight. Good luck, will be thinking of you x x

Obviously everyone is different but let your sister visit. She’ll be anxious to see you and even if you’re sleepy you’ll appreciate seeing a familiar face. (Nearly said a friendly face but you’ll see plenty of those anyway!)
I was taken down to theatre for my WLE & SLNB around 8.30am and was back in the ward -and looking for my lunch before noon.
Hope all goes well.

Thanks ladies, that’s really helpful and I know I’ll feel a whole lot better if she is around even if I’m too out of it to be able to acknowledge her! :slight_smile:



Hi Sharon

Good luck for tomorrow, bet you can’t wait to get it over with?

First time round I seemed to spend forever being shunted around different departments of th hospital to get the various prep bits done. I was 3rd on the operating list, went into surgery 1.00-ish. Op took 2 hours (longer than scheduled, they projected an hour to an hour and a quarter). Lost track of time after that, but I had come round fully by around 6, though I was still rather “euphoric” due to pain meds, according to OH and daughter! I stayed overnight as BP had dropped off the scale.(Always happens…)

Why don’t you check how flexible they are over visiting times? They might allow your sister to stay a bit later?

I’m also in tomorrow for round 2 to clear margins.

Love, Rose xx

Thanks ladies, and the very best of luck for tomorrow Rose, hope this final, and yes it definitely will be FINAL!!! surgery goes smoothly for you and you can then get on with your radiotherapy and be a step closer to getting this whole miserable cancer malarkey behind you.  


I think my sister is going to come to visit whatever time the surgery happens so I hope they let her see me, as much for my sake as hers :slight_smile:  She is pretty determined so I suspect she’ll find a way even if it is after official visiting hours.


So far as I remember, it’s just you and me Rose in for surgery this week but I think some ladies (Judi? Hope?) are beginning their chemo or meeting the oncologist to discuss whether or not to have chemo so I’d just like to wish you all well in case I don’t pop up again for a few days.



Hi, if you get the phone number of the recovery ward your sister could phone them to ask if you’ve been admitted yet or leave her number and ask the nurses to phone her when you are.


That’s what I did, although in the end I hung around near the ward and the nurse spotted me - and told me she was off to collect her and suggested I came along!


They weren’t fussy over visiting times, I think they mainly enforce them for a number of visitors rather than just one.


Good luck with the OP!

Hi all,


Surgery done and dusted but oh my what a trauma!  Surgeon phoned in sick so I got landed with a different one who was far more junior, clearly had no idea what she was doing (she marked me up with her black felt tip pen having found my cancer lump and the radiologist had to tell her that actually she’d marked a haematoma and the cancer lump was elsewhere :() 


When I came round in Recovery someone (think it was the Anaesthetic Lead but not really sure) said that although the surgery had gone well, it had been “complex”, they’d had to take more tissue than planned and that my breast would look “deflated”.  Well, I had a look in the mirror once I’d come round properly and deflated is absolutely not the word -  a botch job is the only way I can describe it.  At rounds this morning a different surgeon said “well, it’ll be fine if you wear a supportive bra”.  Am shell-shocked. Have spent the night sobbing and at a loss to know what to do now other than wait for a response to my complaint email which went in at 2am this morning.


Sorry for such a miserable post but feeling just dreadful.



Oh Sharon xxxx I don’t know what to say … Scary stuff xx but stay strong - you need to give yourself time to heal from this op then see how it goes in follow up appointment at the hospitalxxx sending lots of love to you sarah xxx

Thanks ladies, you’re right of course that I do need to calm down and wait to see what it looks like once it’s settled a bit but I can’t imagine it’s ever going to look anything other than scary at the moment.  If it turns out that they haven’t got clear margins or I need my lymph nodes removed I’m going to ask my GP to refer me to a different hospital for further surgery as I have lost confidence in this one.


On a positive note, I am home already, I have no pain except a sore throat from the intubation and only have to wait 10 days for pathology results.  


Hope you’re all having a good day.





…no blue wee or blue boob either, and I have to confess I’m a bit disappointed! :smileytongue:



At least you are through it and at home with your family now. The felt tip pen thing would have had me off the trolley and running screaming down the corridor! As mentioned before when you go back request to see your original surgeon and make sure they know and record in your notes the reason why you do not want to see the surgeon who performed the op (include a description of the felt tip pen incident). None of this is for retribution etc but to make sure you get the best care in the future.


Meanwhile it was great to see you posting here so soon after your op, fantastic!


Rosie xx

Ladies as always, you’re absolutely right!  My boob has settled down a lot this morning and looks much more normal (so much so that I think I’m now going to have to apologise to the surgeon whose work I criticised, criticising my clinical team is becoming a bad habit that I need to break :()


Feeling a whole lot more chirpy this morning now that the boob looks better and Stella (Kentstar) has directed me to a bra manufacturer who makes bras in my size so that’s great, AND I’ve made an appointment to visit The Haven charity to get some counselling support and some freebie treatments. Yay! Life is looking a lot better today.


Hope you’re all having good days today?