Mastectomy is surgery to remove a breast. There are five different types of mastectomy: "simple" or "total" mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy, and subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy.
Preparing for mastectomy surgery:
Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Average length of stay abroad: 1 week
Method used it can take between 1 and 3 hours to complete. Hospital stays for mastectomy average 3 days or less.
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If the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters, you will probably need a mastectomy. Also depends on the stage and other factors of the tumor.
If your breast is small and a lumpectomy would leave you with very little breast tissue, your doctor may advise you to have a mastectomy.
If your surgeon has already made multiple attempts to remove the tumor with lumpectomy, but has not been able to completely remove the cancer and obtain clear margins, you may need a mastectomy.
If you believe mastectomy would give you greater peace of mind than lumpectomy, you might decide to have a mastectomy.
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Who usually gets a Simple or Total Mastectomy?
A simple or total mastectomy is appropriate for women with multiple or large areas of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and for women seeking prophylactic mastectomies — that is, breast removal in order to prevent any possibility of breast cancer occurring.
Who usually gets a Modified Radical Mastectomy?
Most people with invasive breast cancer who decide to have mastectomies will receive modified radical mastectomies so that the lymph nodes can be examined. Examining the lymph nodes helps to identify whether cancer cells may have spread beyond the breast.
Who usually gets a radical mastectomy?
Today, radical mastectomy is recommended only when the breast cancer has spread to the chest muscles under the breast. Although common in the past, radical mastectomy is now rarely performed because in most cases, modified radical mastectomy has proven to be just as effective and less disfiguring.
Partial mastectomy is the removal of the cancerous part of the breast tissue and some normal tissue around it. While lumpectomy is technically a form of partial mastectomy, more tissue is removed in partial mastectomy than in lumpectomy.
During nipple-sparing mastectomy, all of the breast tissue is removed, but the nipple is left alone.
WHICH MASTECTOMY IS FOR YOU
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Post procedure care
You’ll then be admitted to a hospital room. Hospital stays for mastectomy average 3 days or less. If you have a mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time, you may be in the hospital a little longer.
The morning after your surgery, your surgeon or nurse will show you an exercise routine you can do to prevent arm and shoulder stiffness on the side where you had the mastectomy and to help prevent the formation of significant scar tissue. Some exercises should be avoided until drains are removed. Ask your surgeon any questions you may have to make sure the exercise routine is right for you
You are likely to have some pain after the anesthetic has worn off, and you can expect to be bandaged and may have surgical drains.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER MASTECTOMY
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MASTECTOMY
Not recommended for
Smokers (Stop at least 6 weeks before surgery)
Prevention is better than cure