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  • Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) removes the cancer and just enough tissue to get all the cancer.
  • For 1 or 2 days after the surgery, you will probably feel tired and have some pain. The skin around the cut (incision) may feel firm, swollen, and tender, and be bruised. Tenderness should go away in about 2 or 3 days, and the bruising within 2 weeks. Firmness and swelling may last for 3 to 6 months. 
  • You may feel a soft lump in your breast that gradually turns hard. This is the incision healing. It is not cancer. 
  • If you wear a bra, it should be well-fitted and supportive. You should wear it during the night, for 1 week. You will probably be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 1 to 3 weeks after the surgery. This may depend on whether you have more treatment.
  • Your doctor may have removed some lymph nodes in your armpit to see if the cancer has spread. If so, you may feel either numbness or tingling (“pins and needles”) in your armpit or on the inside of your upper arm. This should improve over the next several weeks. Some people have numbness for a longer time.