Breast Cancer Surgery

Breast cancer surgery is performed to remove one or both cancer affected breast.  Breast cancer surgery is performed as a single procedure or in combination with other treatment methods such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation therapy. There are different surgical procedures performed depending on the size and stage of the cancer as part of breast cancer surgery and includes:

  • Mastectomy : Surgery to remove the complete breast
  • Lumpectomy : a section or part of the cancer affected breast tissue is removed
  • Surgery to remove associated lymph nodes
  • Reconstruction Surgery to renovate lost breast with breast implants

Breast cancer surgery is recommended to treat various stages of breast cancer and includes:

  • Women with high risk of breast cancer: Based on a strong family history of the disease condition, women with same background are recommended to perform certain noncancerous breast biopsy tests to understand the chances for the condition and perform mastectomy as an option to prevent breast cancer. They can choose for breast reconstruction surgery to replace the entire breast.
  • Noninvasive breast cancer: Women diagnosed with non invasive breast cancer can undergo lumpectomy along with radiation therapy.
  • Early-stage breast cancer: Breast cancer at early stages can be treated with lumpectomy or mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction.
  • Larger breast cancers: Advanced stages of breast cancer are treated with mastectomy.
  • Locally advanced breast cancers: Breast cancers that are spread to lymph nodes are often treated with targeted therapy to shrink the tumor cells or through surgery.
  • Recurrent breast cancer: Breast cancers that reoccur after preliminary treatments are removed with mastectomy.

Breast Cancer Surgery Procedure

The Breast cancer surgery is initiated by the surgeon by administering a dose of anesthesia to relax the patient and to be in a sleep-like state. The surgeon makes an incision in the breast and removes the cancerous tissues and surrounding tissues from the area. The length and location of the incision depends on the site of the cancer within the breast. The lymph nodes in the armpit are also examined. A few lymph nodes in which a tumor is drained are also removed. After removing the entire or part of the cancer affected breast the surgeon closes the incision using dissolvable stitches to reduce scarring.

Reconstruction surgery can be performed immediately or after the breast cancer surgery. During a breast reconstruction surgery, the breast can be reconstructed in two methods: using an implant or by tissues obtained from other parts of the body. Breast implants are used for immediate reconstruction of the breast and the implants are filled with silicone gel or saline solution.  Breast reconstruction using body tissue involves relocation or body tissues using a pedicle flap or free flap surgery.