A mastectomy is when the breast tissue is removed, and possibly some surrounding tissue. There are different types of mastectomies.
- Simple mastectomy (total mastectomy)
- Removal of entire breast, including nipple.
- Sometime both breasts are entirely removed (double mastectomy).
- Can be used as a preventative measure in women who are at high risk for breast cancer.
- Skin-sparring mastectomy
- Most of the skin over the breast, not including the nipple or areola, are left intact.
- Often used when a woman chooses to have reconstruction surgery.
- Modified radical mastectomy
- Simple mastectomy with the removal of underarm lymph nodes.
- Radical mastectomy
- Removal of the entire breast, underarm lymph nodes, and chest wall muscles under the breast.
- Rarely done, but may be used for large tumors growing in the chest muscles under the breast.