Types of Mastectomy

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Mastectomy is a procedure for removing one or both of the breasts. There are several types of procedures available for patients with indications for mastectomy and these include:

Total (simple) mastectomy

For this procedure, a surgeon removes the whole breast including the nipple, areola and skin as well as one or more of the axillary lymph nodes if they happen to be present in the breast tissue that needs to be removed. No muscles from underneath the breast are removed.

A simple mastectomy is a suitable option for women with ductal carcinoma in situ that is present in a large area or multiple areas. When the surgery is performed on both breasts, it is called a double mastectomy and this may be chosen by some patients as a preventative measure. Total mastectomy usually requires a brief stay in hospital. A drainage tube is placed within the incision to drain the subcutaneous fluid and is usually removed several days after surgery.

Modified radical mastectomy

During this procedure, the surgeon removes all of the breast tissue including the nipple and areola as well as level I and II axillary lymph nodes. The muscles beneath the breast are not removed.

This surgery is usually performed in cases of invasive breast cancer. Removing a large proportion of the lymph nodes for examination provides clues about the extent of cancer spread beyond the breast. This surgery may be followed by radiation therapy, which is performed to kill any remaining cancer cells and minimize the chances of cancer recurring. In some cases, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and/or targeted therapy also follow a modified radical mastectomy.

Radical mastectomy

This is the most extensive and most disfiguring form of mastectomy a woman can receive. The procedure involves removing the entire breast and level I, II and II axillary lymph nodes, as well as the underlying muscles of the chest wall.

Radical mastectomy is only indicated in cases where the cancer has spread to the muscles beneath the breast. It is far less commonly used today because the modified form of the procedure is usually just as effective and also causes less disfigurement.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy

This operation is also termed subcutaneous mastectomy. The breast tissues and the tumor are removed but the nipple and the areola are preserved. The procedure is less commonly performed than total mastectomy due to the fact that the tissue that remains in place is still at risk of becoming cancerous. Subcutaneous mastectomy is therefore a controversial treatment option and most physicians will recommend a simple mastectomy.

After a mastectomy, women may opt to wear a breast prosthesis or to undergo a breast reconstruction, which may be performed at the same time as the mastectomy or anytime after. A cosmetic surgeon usually collaborates with the surgeon performing the mastectomy and an implant or tissue from another part of the body is used to create a breast-like shape. A nipple and an areola may also be created surgically.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 1, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, July 01). Types of Mastectomy. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 14, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Mastectomy.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Types of Mastectomy". News-Medical. 14 April 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Mastectomy.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Types of Mastectomy". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Mastectomy.aspx. (accessed April 14, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Types of Mastectomy. News-Medical, viewed 14 April 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Types-of-Mastectomy.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Study finds women with DCIS diagnosed outside NHS screening face fourfold increase in breast cancer mortality