Breast Surgery Procedures
Depending on the type and size of a breast cancer, patients can sometimes choose between removal of the entire breast, known as a mastectomy, or partial removal of the breast, called a lumpectomy. Both procedures can be done at L+M using the latest surgical techniques. Surgeons at L+M will discuss with each patient the specifics of the case to determine what surgery is best.
There are a number of different kinds of mastectomies, all of which can be done at L+M. A “total” or “simple” mastectomy removes the entire breast, but leaves the patient’s chest wall and lymph nodes.
A “modified radical mastectomy” involves removing the entire breast and also the level 1 and 2 underarm lymph nodes. A radical mastectomy removes the breast, lymph nodes, and also the chest wall muscles under the breast, a procedure usually performed only if the cancer has spread to the chest walls. Patients typically spend the night in the hospital after a mastectomy.
The most common form of breast surgery today, a lumpectomy removes the tumor from the breast and a small portion of surrounding tissue. Very often, a patient will undergo radiation therapy following a lumpectomy to ensure that all cancer cells in the breast have been destroyed. Most often, patients can go home the same day of the operation.
Breast reconstruction is usually for women who have had a mastectomy. L+M has plastic surgeons on staff capable of rebuilding the breast mound to replicate the size and shape of the breast before the mastectomy. Surgeons can also add the nipple and the darker area around the nipple (areola) during reconstructive surgery.
Women who have had a lumpectomy are less likely to need reconstructive surgery, but in some cases it can also be offered.