A mastectomy is a surgical procedure designed to treat or prevent breast cancer by removing an entire breast. This type of surgery may be recommended in cases where the extent of the cancer exceeds the amount of tissue that can safely be removed with a lumpectomy or in cases of recurrent breast cancer. Additionally, a patient who has been identified as having a high risk of developing breast cancer may choose to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy as a preventive measure.
The compassionate experts at Moffitt Cancer Center can help a patient understand the implications of a breast cancer diagnosis and provide in-depth information about all available treatment options. For instance, some patients have a choice between a mastectomy and a breast-conserving approach, such as a lumpectomy. This is a highly personal decision, and we are here to provide all of the information and support that a patient may need to make the right choice for her.
"Mastectomy is sometimes indicated in the surgical removal of breast cancer. This surgery may have a significant emotional impact on patients, so we try to offer the option of breast reconstruction to appropriate patients. Reconstructive options help soften the emotional loss of the breast."- John Kiluk, MD
What types of mastectomy procedures are performed at Moffitt?
Moffitt has earned an international reputation as a leader in breast cancer surgery, including advanced nipple- and skin-sparing techniques. As a high-volume cancer center, we offer a level of surgical expertise that far exceeds that of most other providers. Our fellowship-trained breast surgeons are highly skilled and experienced in performing several different types of mastectomy procedures, such as:
- Total or simple mastectomy – Surgical removal of one breast
- Bilateral mastectomy – Surgical removal of both breasts
- Modified radical mastectomy – Along with the surgical removal of a breast, a procedure called axillary lymph node dissection is performed to remove the lymph nodes in the underarm area
Some patients choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery either during or after a mastectomy. When performing a reconstruction procedure, a surgeon creates a breast shape with an implant or flap of tissue derived from another area of the patient’s body (autologous tissue transfer). Moffitt’s surgical team includes reconstructive specialists who can contribute to a patient’s treatment.
As the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida, Moffitt is renowned and respected for its groundbreaking research discoveries and promising clinical trials. We continue to provide hope for cancer patients everywhere.
Medically reviewed by John Kiluk, MD, surgical oncologist