Mastectomy (Breast Removal Surgery): What It Is & Types?

Mastectomy (Breast Removal Surgery)
19 Oct 2023
8 mins
Table Of Content
Mastectomy (Breast Removal Surgery): What It Is & Types?

    Exploring The Depths Of Mastectomy Surgery


    In the journey of battling breast cancer, individuals often face tough decisions, and one of the significant choices is whether to undergo a mastectomy. Mastectomy, or breast removal surgery, is a major step that some brave individuals take to regain control of their health. In this blog, we will explore what mastectomy entails, the various types of mastectomy procedures, and the emotional and physical aspects associated with this transformative decision.


    Understanding Mastectomy And Its Types


    A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of one or both breasts, typically to treat or prevent breast cancer. This decision is highly individualized and depends on factors such as the stage of cancer, its type, and the individual's health condition. The primary purpose of mastectomy is to eliminate cancerous cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.


    Types Of Mastectomy


    This overview sheds light on the diverse landscape of mastectomy procedures, highlighting their distinctions and applications.


    1. Total (Simple) Mastectomy 


    A foundational approach, the total mastectomy involves the removal of the entire breast while leaving the chest muscles untouched. It is mostly recommended for early-stage breast cancer or as a preventive measure for high-risk individuals, this procedure prioritizes the removal of cancerous tissue while preserving the underlying musculature.


    2. Modified Radical Mastectomy 


    The modified radical mastectomy takes a step further, encompassing the removal of not just the breast but also some of the nearby axillary lymph nodes. This surgical strategy is often employed when there is an indication that cancer may have infiltrated the lymph nodes, providing a comprehensive approach to curbing the disease's progression.


    3. Radical Mastectomy 


    While once more prevalent, the radical mastectomy has become less common in contemporary medical practice. This procedure is an extensive measure, involving the removal of the breast, underlying chest muscles, and all axillary lymph nodes. Reserved for cases where cancer has significantly infiltrated the chest muscles, it reflects a more aggressive stance in combating the disease.


    4. Skin-Sparing Mastectomy 


    Recognizing the significance of aesthetics in the mastectomy journey, the skin-sparing mastectomy emerges as a refined option. This procedure removes the breast tissue while strategically preserving the skin envelope. The preserved skin serves as a canvas for immediate breast reconstruction, offering patients a more natural post-surgical appearance.

    5. Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy 


    Aiming to retain the natural contours of the breast, the nipple-sparing mastectomy takes preservation to a new level. This technique involves removing only the breast tissue while leaving the nipple and areola intact. Ideal for those seeking a reconstruction process that closely mimics the original anatomy, it emphasizes both the physical and psychological aspects of the post-mastectomy experience.


    Insights Into Mastectomy Surgery: What You Need to Know

    • Images of Mastectomy Surgery

    Please note that due to the sensitive nature of surgical images, it is recommended to consult medical sources or healthcare professionals for visual references on mastectomy surgery. Visual resources are often available through medical textbooks, journals, or reputable healthcare websites.

    • Double Mastectomy Reconstructive Surgery 

    Double mastectomy involves the removal of both breasts. Reconstructive surgery can be performed using implants or flap reconstruction (also called autologous breast reconstruction). The decision to reconstruct can be immediate or delayed, depending on individual preferences and medical considerations.

    • Swelling After Mastectomy Surgery 

    Postoperative swelling, known as edema, is a common occurrence after mastectomy. It is a natural response to surgery and subsides over time. Compression garments and elevation of the affected arm can help manage swelling.

    • Steps of Mastectomy Surgery 
    1. Anesthesia: The patient is administered anesthesia for comfort during the procedure.
    2. Incision: An incision is made, and breast tissue is removed.
    3. Lymph Node Removal (if needed): In some cases, nearby lymph nodes are also removed for examination.
    4. Closure: The incisions are closed, and drains may be inserted to remove excess fluids during the initial recovery period.


    • Recovery After Mastectomy Surgery 
    1. Hospital Stay: Nearly, it takes 1-2 days.
    2. Drain Removal: Drains are often removed within a week.
    3. Resuming Normal Activities: Gradual return to regular activities over several weeks.
    4. Follow-up Care: Regular check-ups and potential additional treatments as recommended.


    • Duration of Mastectomy Surgery 

    The duration varies based on the type of mastectomy and whether reconstructive surgery is performed. Generally, mastectomy alone may take 1-3 hours, while reconstruction can add several hours to the overall surgical time.

    • Preventive Mastectomy Surgery 

    Preventive or prophylactic mastectomy is performed on individuals at high risk of developing breast cancer. This may include those with a strong family history or BRCA 1 and 2 gene mutations. The goal is to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

    Every Scar Is A Badge Of Courage

    Scars from mastectomy are proudly worn by individuals who have faced adversity and emerged stronger. Mastectomy surgery is a courageous step in the fight against breast cancer. In the realm of breast cancer treatment, mastectomy stands as a powerful choice for many individuals. It’s a journey that involves medical decisions, emotional resilience, and the pursuit of a fulfilling life beyond the diagnosis. Whether one chooses reconstruction or embraces the post-mastectomy body, the essence lies in reclaiming one’s narrative and celebrating the strength that comes with this transformative experience. Each person's experience is unique, and the decision to undergo mastectomy is deeply personal. 


                      Mastectomy Are Not Marks Of Loss; They Are Badges Of Courage!

    Written by
    Dr.B.DeivaMedical Content Writer
    AboutDr.B.Deiva is a Medical Content Writer at MrMed.She graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) from Jaya College of Paramedical Sciences, Thirunindravur in 2021. She worked as an intern in clinical pharmacy from 2020-2021 as a part of her curriculum where she participated in various aspects of clinical pharmacy services, and research projects and provided comprehensive care to the patients. She also has skills in researching, writing, editing, and proofreading medical content and blogs.
    Tags :Mastectomy surgery Mastectomy types Definition mastectomy Mastectomy breast surgery Double mastectomy