A mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which a part of the breast or the entire breast is removed. This operation is generally performed to treat breast cancer. Women who are at a very high risk of developing breast cancer at a later stage may also choose to undergo this procedure as a preventive measure. However, this is only considered in case of high-risk patients and not everyone.
Normally, before recommending a mastectomy, doctors explore treatment options involving medication, radiation and chemotherapy.
Doctors mainly advise women to undergo a mastectomy in order to get rid of all the cancer cells from the breast. Removing all the cancerous tissue is absolutely essential, because any malignant cells that have been left behind can cause the cancer to come back and maybe even spread to the other parts of the body.
After a diagnosis of breast cancer has been confirmed, the treatment should be carried out without any delay. Early intervention in most types of cancer increases the chance of success and complete recovery. Therefore, once the need for a mastectomy has been established, no time should be wasted in carrying out the procedure.
Mastectomies can be of different kinds, the most common ones being -
Some of the other types of mastectomy, include -
The type of mastectomy that a woman is asked to undergo may vary, depending upon various factors such as -
Some of the more traditional mastectomy procedures are recommended for -
The steps and procedures involved in each of these surgeries differ. Before the surgery begins, general anesthesia is used on the patient, which causes her to remain unconscious through the procedure. A mastectomy is usually completed in about 2 or 3 hours.
After the surgery, one or two tubes or tiny plastic drains may be left in the chest, for removing the excess fluid. Most women are required to stay over at the medical facility for a day or two.
It is important to remember that though a mastectomy is effective in treating breast cancer, it isn't always the most suitable form of treatment for a woman. In case this procedure is not recommended for someone in particular, her healthcare provider should keep her informed about it.
After undergoing a mastectomy, some women also choose to get a breast reconstruction surgery done.
ReferencesMore articles from the General Articles Category