Mastectomy: What you should know?

What is Mastectomy?

Mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the partial, part or whole breast in order to prevent various health problems or to treat cancer or other health issues related to the breast. This is often suggested for the women who cannot be treated with breast-conserving surgery or for the women who choose this mastectomy over breast-conserving surgery. There are five major types of mastectomy, Simple (or total) mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy, & nipple-sparing mastectomy.

Simple (or total) mastectomy

In general, simple (or total) mastectomy is a surgical procedure where the entire breast is removed including the nipple, areola and skin. However, sometimes the surgeon may or may not remove the underarm lymph nodes depending on the situation. In a simple mastectomy, no muscles are removed from beneath the breast.

Who usually gets this Simple (or total) mastectomy?

A simple or total mastectomy is suggested for women who are suffering from multiple or large areas of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and for women seeking prophylactic mastectomies. Prophylactic mastectomies is a surgery to remove one or both breasts in order to prevent the risk of breast cancer occurring.

Modified Radical Mastectomy

In Modified Radical Mastectomy the entire breast is removed including the nipple, the areola, the overlying skin, the lining over the chest muscles and some underarm lymph nodes.

Who usually gets this modified radical mastectomy?

People with invasive breast cancer are consulted and suggested undergoing the modified radical mastectomy where they will analyze the lymph nodes. Examining/analysing the lymph nodes will let the examiner know whether cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.