Types of Mastectomies

Women today benefit from the significant surgical breakthroughs of the past two decades which make available more options than ever before. These options ensure that woman can have the least invasive surgery, preserving the most breast tissue.


Factors That Determine Your

  • Patient age
  • Overall health
  • Menopause status
  • Tumour size
  • Tumour stage (how far the disease has spread)
  • Tumour grade (the aggressiveness of the tumour)
  • Tumour’s hormone receptor status
  • Whether lymph nodes have been affected

Many Procedures to Choose From

Surgeons treating women that require a mastectomy will educate in the following types of procedures
In this surgery, the entire breast is removed, including the nipple. The lymph nodes may also be removed in some instances. Your surgeon may recommend this surgery if the cancer has not spread, or you are having a preventative procedure.
In this surgery, usually the entire breast and nipple are removed. Studies show that women at high-risk for contracting breast cancer may reduce their risk by as much as 90 percent by having a preventative procedure.
Women with Stage I or II breast cancer may have this breast-conserving procedure which removes only the tumour and the tissue surrounding it.
A radical mastectomy completely removes the breast and the nipple. The surgeon will also remove the overlying skin, the muscles beneath the breast and the lymph nodes. This surgery is usually only recommended when the cancer has spread to the chest muscle.
In a modified radical mastectomy, the entire breast is removed as well as the underarm lymph nodes, but the chest muscles are left intact. The skin covering the chest wall may or may not be removed. Breast reconstruction may follow this procedure.

There are also two additional techniques available to women who have detected their cancer early or are in the early stages of their cancer. They are:


This surgery removes the tumour and a small cancer-free area of tissue surrounding the tumour.


This surgery removes the tumour and more of the surrounding breast tissue than a lumpectomy.

Adding Radiation Therapy

Mastectomy is not often followed by radiation therapy unless women have Stage III cancer; in a very few cases, women with Stage II cancer may require radiation. Most often, your surgeon will recommend radiation therapy only if you have four or more positive lymph nodes. Other factors which may necessitate radiation therapy include:

  • Negative lymph nodes with a tumour larger than five centimetres
  • Negative lymph nodes with positive tumour margins
  • Negative lymph nodes with a tumour that is five centimetres or smaller but with close margins


A qualified general surgeon focused on breast surgery. Highly trained in oncoplastic techniques including mastectomy and implant based breast reconstruction.

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A qualified surgeon that has specialized in plastic reconstructive surgery that is trained in microsurgery to be able to perform flap reconstruction through to direct to implant reconstruction.

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