A mastectomy is surgery to remove breast tissue. There are 2 types:
—The tumor and some normal tissue around it are taken out.
Partial mastectomy—Part of the breast that has cancer and some normal tissue around it are taken out. The lymph nodes or the lining of the chest muscle may also be taken out.
Breast-tissue removal mastectomy types:
Simple—The whole breast is taken out. This includes the nipple and areola.
Skin-sparing—The skin that covers the breast is left except for the nipple and areola. This is like a simple mastectomy. It is done when reconstruction is planned. It has limits and may not be a choice for all women.
Modified radical—The whole breast, some lymph nodes in the armpit, and any affected chest muscles are taken out.
Radical—The whole breast, lymph nodes, and muscles of the chest wall are taken out (rare).
For breast-conserving surgery, a cut is made at the site of the tumor. The tumor is taken out. A small bit of normal tissue around it is also taken out.
For breast-tissue removal surgery, the whole breast and fatty tissue are taken out. The doctor may also need to remove lymph nodes and some chest muscles. Tissue that is taken out is studied under a microscope. If you have skin-sparing surgery, the skin around the breast will be kept.
The doctor will place a tube to drain blood and fluids. The site will be closed with stitches.
Surgery for breast cancer.
American Cancer Society. Available at:
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/treatment/surgery-for-breast-cancer.html. Updated August 18, 2016. Accessed December 18, 2017.