Mastectomy

Candela and Schreier Medical Corporation

Surgical Oncologists & Robotic Surgery Specialists located in West Hills, CA & Thousand Oaks, CA

In recent decades, a mastectomy meant complete removal of all breast tissue, but advancements have expanded the breast cancer treatment options available to women. At Candela and Schreier Medical Corporation in the West San Fernando Valley area of California, Dr. Frank Candela and Dr. David Schreier offer numerous mastectomy options and can guide you toward the option that’s right for you. When you’re ready to get started, schedule an appointment online or by phone.

Mastectomy Q & A

What is a mastectomy?

A mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove breast tissue. There are multiple types of mastectomy, each with a distinct list of pros and cons.

Partial mastectomy

With partial mastectomy, only the cancerous tissue and a portion of the surrounding healthy breast tissue is removed. This is technically a form of lumpectomy.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy

This is the surgical removal of all breast tissue, but with the nipple preserved.

Total mastectomy

A total mastectomy, also called a simple mastectomy, is surgery that removes all breast tissue. The only lymph nodes removed are those located within the breast tissue. No muscle tissue is removed.

Modified radical mastectomy

This approach removes all breast tissue as well as certain underarm lymph nodes. No muscle tissue is removed.

Radical mastectomy

This approach removes all breast tissue and all underarm lymph nodes, as well as your chest wall muscles. A radical mastectomy was once the preferred approach, but radical mastectomy is now only used when there are signs that cancer has spread to your chest wall muscles.

What happens during a mastectomy?

Once you’ve changed into a surgical gown, your breast is marked to guide the incision lines. Anesthesia keeps you comfortable throughout the procedure.

Your specialist makes the incisions needed to access the targeted portion of breast tissue. Next, your breast tissue is separated from your skin and chest wall muscles and removed along with your lymph nodes, if necessary.

Surgical drains are placed to allow fluids to exit your body during the initial stages of healing. Finally, the incision is carefully stitched closed and the site is bandaged before you move to a recovery area.

What is the recovery process like after a mastectomy?

You’ll likely remain in the hospital for a couple of days before heading home. If you have reconstruction surgery at the same time as your mastectomy, you may remain in the hospital a bit longer.

Once home, it’s important that you follow all post-op instructions carefully to reduce your risk of infection. You’ll perform a series of exercises to keep your arms and shoulders from becoming stiff and to prevent excessive scar tissue. Prescription pain medication can help with any discomfort in the days following your mastectomy.

If you need a mastectomy, you probably have a list of questions and concerns. Book an appointment at Candela and Schreier Medical Corporation today to sit down and get the answers you need to move forward.