Nearly One-Third of Breast Cancer Patients Require a Mastectomy

A mastectomy comes in various types, with each differing in the breast removal amount.

There are various types of mastectomy and each kind removes a different amount of breast tissue. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of each option with you.

The three most common types of mastectomy are:

  • Partial (or segmental) mastectomy
  • Simple mastectomy
  • Modified radical mastectomy

Partial Mastectomy 

Like a lumpectomy, a partial mastectomy is considered a conservative surgical approach to treating breast cancer. During the procedure, the surgeon removes the cancer and a portion of breast tissue surrounding the cancer. More breast tissue is removed in a partial mastectomy than in a lumpectomy, but the amount is less than that removed in a simple or modified radical mastectomy. Lymph nodes under the arm may also be removed to determine if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Simple Mastectomy 

A simple (or total) mastectomy includes the removal of the entire breast, including the cancer cells, breast tissue, nipple and overlying skin.

Modified Radical Mastectomy

A modified radical mastectomy involves the removal of the entire breast and lymph nodes under the arm to determine if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. 

Simple and modified radical mastectomies are considered non-breast-conserving procedures and may be recommended if the cancer is too big for a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy or there is more than one type of cancer in the breast. Woman’s cancer physicians and cosmetic surgeons work together to reconstruct the breast.

What to Expect

Most women who undergo simple or modified radical mastectomies spend at least one night in the hospital following the procedure. The hospital stay is extended if breast reconstructive surgery happens at the same time as mastectomy.

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    Little Can Mean More

    Considerations for this technique include history and physical examination, breast imaging, histological assessment of the resected breast, and assessment of the patient’s needs and expectations.

Noticeably Un-noticeable

With a Hidden Scar procedure, your surgeon will place the incision in a location that is hard to see, so that the scar is not visible when your incision heals.