Mastectomy is the surgical removal of a breast to treat breast cancer. The type of mastectomy performed will vary depending on the stage of the cancer, involvement of lymph nodes, size of the tumor, size of the breast, and other factors.
In this operation, the surgeon removes the breast, most or all of the lymph nodes under the arm, and the lining over the chest muscles. In some cases, part of the chest wall muscles will be removed as well. This may be followed by reconstructive surgery to reshape the breast.
This surgery, also called simple mastectomy, removes the entire breast.
Skin sparing mastectomy
This approach to mastectomy preserves as much of a patient’s skin as possible. During this procedure, the surgeon removes the skin of the nipple and aereola, and then removes the diseased breast tissue through this small opening. The remaining skin provides the optimal pouch for recreating a breast using one’s own tissue during immediate reconstruction, or using an implant.