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Mastectomy (Breast Cancer) -Chennai

Top Hospitals for Breast Cancer in Chennai

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About Breast Cancer (Mastectomy)

A mastectomy is a surgery to remove the entire breast. Most of the time, some of the skin and the nipple are also removed. The surgery is most often done to treat breast cancer. Alternative names can be Breast removal surgery, Subcutaneous mastectomy, Nipple-sparing mastectomy, Total mastectomy, mastectomy, Simple mastectomy, Modified radical mastectomy, Breast cancer – mastectomy

Women diagnosed with Breast Cancer:

The most common reason for a mastectomy is breast cancer. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, talk to your healthcare provider about your choices:

  • Lumpectomy is when only the breast cancer and tissue around the cancer are removed. This is also called breast conservation therapy or partial mastectomy. Most of your breast will be left.
  • Mastectomy is when all breast tissue is removed.

You and your provider should consider:

  • The size and location of your tumour
  • Skin involvement of the tumour
  • How many tumours there are in the breast
  • How much of the breast is affected
  • The size of your breast
  • Your age
  • Medical history that may exclude you from breast conservation (this may include prior breast radiation and certain medical conditions)
  • Family history
  • Your general health and whether you have reached menopause

The choice of what is best for you can be difficult. You and the providers who are treating your breast cancer will decide together what is best.

Women at high risk for Breast Cancer:

Women who have a very high risk of developing breast cancer may choose to have a preventive (or prophylactic) mastectomy to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

You may be more likely to get breast cancer if one or more close family relatives has had the disease, especially at an early age. Genetic tests (such as BRCA1 or BRCA2) may help show that you have a high risk. However, even with a normal genetic test, you may still be at high risk of breast cancer, depending on other factors.

Prophylactic mastectomy should be done only after very careful thought and discussion with your doctor, a genetic counsellor, your family, and loved ones.

Mastectomy greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer but does not eliminate it.

Before surgery begins, you will be given general anaesthesia. This means you will be asleep and pain-free during surgery.

There are different types of mastectomies. Which one your surgeon performs depends on the type of breast problem you have. Most of the time, mastectomy is done to treat cancer. However, it is sometimes done to prevent cancer (prophylactic mastectomy).

The surgeon will make a cut in your breast and perform one of these operations:

  • Nipple sparing mastectomy: The surgeon removes the entire breast, but leaves the nipple and areola (the coloured circle around the nipple) in place. If you have cancer, the surgeon may do a biopsy of lymph nodes in the underarm area to see if cancer has spread.
  • Total or simple mastectomy: The surgeon removes the entire breast along with the nipple and areola. If you have cancer, the surgeon may do a biopsy of lymph nodes in the underarm area to see if cancer has spread.
  • Modified radical mastectomy: The surgeon removes the entire breast with the nipple and areolar along with some of the lymph nodes underneath the arm.
  • Radical mastectomy: The surgeon removes the skin over the breast, all of the lymph nodes underneath the arm, and the chest muscles. This surgery is rarely done.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy: The surgeon removes the breast with the nipple and areola with minimal skin removal. If you have cancer, the surgeon may do a biopsy of lymph nodes in the underarm area to see if cancer has spread.
  • The skin is then closed with sutures (stitches).

One or two small plastic drains or tubes are very often left in your chest to remove extra fluid from where the breast tissue used to be.

A plastic surgeon may be able to begin reconstruction of the breast during the same operation. You may also choose to have breast reconstruction at a later time. If you have reconstruction, a skin or nipple sparing mastectomy may be an option.

Mastectomy will take about 2 to 3 hours

Scabbing, blistering, wound opening, seroma, or skin loss along the edge of the surgical cut may occur.

Risks:

  • Shoulder pain and stiffness. You may also feel pins and needles where the breast used to be and underneath the arm.
  • Swelling of the arm and or breast (called lymphedema) on the same side as the breast that is removed. This swelling is not common, but it can be an ongoing problem.
  • Damage to nerves that go to the muscles of the arm, back, and chest wall.

You may have blood and imaging tests (such as CT scans, bone scans, and chest x-ray) after your provider finds breast cancer. This is done to determine if cancer has spread outside of the breast and lymph nodes under the arm.

Always tell your provider if:

  • You could be pregnant
  • You are taking any drugs or herbs or supplements you bought without a prescription

During the week before the surgery:

  • Several days before your surgery, you may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it hard for your blood to clot.
  • Ask which drugs you should still take on the day of the surgery.

On the day of the surgery:

  • Follow instructions from your doctor or nurse about eating or drinking before surgery.
  • Take the drugs you have been told to take with a small sip of water.

You will be told when to arrive at the hospital. Be sure to arrive on time.

Post Procedure:

  • Most women stay in the hospital for 24 to 48 hours after a mastectomy.
  • Your length of stay will depend on the type of surgery you had.
  • Many women go home with drainage tubes still in their chest after mastectomy. The doctor will remove them later during an office visit. A nurse will teach you how to look after the drain, or you might be able to have a home care nurse help you.
  • You may have pain around the site of your cut after surgery. The pain is moderate after the first day and then goes away over a period of a few weeks. You will receive pain medicines before you are released from the hospital.
  • Fluid may collect in the area of your mastectomy after all the drains are removed. This is called a seroma. It most often goes away on its own, but it may need to be drained using a needle (aspiration).

Disclaimer: The information provided by us is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services...

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Disclaimer: The information provided by us is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual or entity. All the information provided on this platform is for information purposes only. If you are a patient using this platform, you must seek assistance from a health care professional when interpreting these materials and applying them to your individual circumstances.

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