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What is a Mastectomy?

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What is a Mastectomy?

Understanding Types of Mastectomies

Whether it's following a diagnosis or being performed as a preventative measure, this surgical procedure is typically done to address breast cancer. The health experts at McDonough District Hospital are here to share some additional insight on mastectomies and when it's deemed a viable treatment option.

Types of Mastectomies

Total Mastectomy

With a total or “simple” mastectomy, the entire breast is removed. This includes the areola, nipple, and skin.

Skin-Sparing Mastectomy

With a skin-sparing mastectomy, the breast tissue, nipple, and areola are removed; however, most of the skin of the breast is left intact. More often than not, this method is used to allow for reconstruction of the breast.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Similar to the skin-sparing mastectomy, with a nipple-sparing mastectomy the breast tissue is removed. However, the nipples and skin are left intact. During the procedure, the surgeon will have to check to see if there are cancer cells present in the nipple tissue, and if there are, they need to be removed.

Double Mastectomy

With a double mastectomy, both breasts are removed. This procedure is usually done as a preventative measure for women at a high risk of developing breast cancer.

When a Mastectomy is a Viable Treatment Option

Typically, mastectomies are performed for patients who:

  • Are unable to have radiation therapy.
  • Were treated with radiation therapy in the past.
  • Have two or more areas of cancer in the same breast.
  • Have a tumor that is more than 2 inches across.
  • Are pregnant.
  • Have inflammatory breast cancer.
  • Cannot be treated with a lumpectomy, which spares most breast tissue.
  • Prefer this procedure over breast-conserving options.
  • Have a high risk of developing breast cancer.

Women’s Health Services and Diagnostic Imaging in Macomb, Illinois

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To learn more about our women’s health services, visit our website or give us a call at (309) 833-4101