A Guide To Mastectomy Surgery At Any Age

Mastectomy Surgery Through SurgeryXchange


Mastectomy is a surgery to remove all breast tissue from breast, a way to treat/prevent breast cancer. In early stage of breast cancer, lumpectomy is used to remove the tumor from breast. Mastectomy can be a secondary option.

Mastectomy and lumpectomy are difficult. Both procedures are effective to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. Lumpectomy is not for everyone with breast cancer, others prefer to go mastectomy. The breast reconstruction is done to restore the shape of breast. It can be done at same time during mastectomy or in second operation.

Why its required?

A mastectomy is performed to remove the breast tissues, if breast cancer is in developing stage.

Mastectomy may be the treatment option for many types breast cancer-

  • Early stage of breast cancer.
  • Stage 3 breast cancer.
  • Recurrent breast cancer.


Mastectomy is the removal of breast completely. There are different types of mastectomy. They are listed below-

  • Total Mastectomy-

The surgeon will completely remove the breast. Surgeon will not perform lymph node dissection. Sometimes lymph nodes are removed, since they are located within the breast tissue take during surgery. Muscles are not removed from beneath the breast. It is for women who are having multiple or large area of ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS).

  • Modified Radical Mastectomy-

It involves removal of breast tissue and lymp nodes. Surgeon removes the complete breast. Auxillary lymp node dissection is done during which level 1 and 2 of underarm lymph nodes are removed. Beneath the breast no muscles are removed. People with invasive breast cancer who wants to go for mastectomy will get modified radical mastectomy, so that  lymph node can be examined.

  • Radical Mastectomy-

The surgeon will remove the complete breast . Level 1,2 and 3 of underarm lymph nodes will also be removed. The chest wall muscles will be also removed. It is recommended when cancer spread to chest muscles under breast.

During the procedure:

The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an elliptical cut around breast. The breast tissue is removed and depending on procedure, other part of breast can also be removed.

The breast tissue and lymph node are removed and sent to lab for analysis.

If breast reconstruction is to be performed during mastectomy, a plastic surgeon will accompany the breast surgeon.

People who will go for radiation therapy after surgery, a temporary tissue expander is placed in chest to hold breast skin in place.

After the surgery is completed, the cut is closed with stitches which will dissolve after sometime. You may also have one or two plastic tube placed where breast was removed. The tubes will help in draining any fluids that comes out after surgery. Tubes are sewed in place and ends are attached to small drainage bag.


  • Infection.
  • Bleeding.
  • Swelling in arm.
  • Shoulder pain.

SurgeryXchange is an online platform for medical second opinions and advisory services for hospital admission.

  To know about the cost of  mastectomy surgery, click here.

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