Definition - What does Mastectomy mean?

A mastectomy is a surgery that involves either the partial or complete removal of one or both breasts. It is often recommended by doctors to treat breast cancer or to even prevent it in some cases. During the surgery, breast tissue is removed around the tumor or in the entire breast. The goal of the surgery is to prevent the cancer from returning in the future.

TheConsultation explains Mastectomy

Mastectomy surgery may involve different techniques, including skin-sparing mastectomy, which allows for the patient to have a more natural appearance after the surgery. Another option is a radical mastectomy, where all the breast tissue is removed, along with some of the chest muscle. You may also have an axillary lymph node dissection, which means the removal of some of your lymph nodes. The type of mastectomy recommended will depend on the location and size of the tumor and other factors, such as family history and the type of breast cancer the person has been diagnosed with.

Reconstruction surgery, which is done to recreate the shape of the breast even without the tissue, may be done in the same surgery. It can also be scheduled with a second surgery later on. A mastectomy may be recommended if a person has multiple cancerous tumors or the tumor is large. It may also be the best option if the patient is having a recurrence of breast cancer after being treated in the past.

You will need to plan to spend at least a couple of nights in the hospital for the procedure. A medical professional may draw on the breast to show where the incision will be made. The actual surgery can take two or three hours, or longer if reconstruction is done at the same time. Mastectomy is an inpatient surgery with an average hospital stay of less than three days.

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