This is important information for women all over the world.
Definition: A mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which most or all of the breast tissue is removed, in order to treat breast cancer. There are several different degrees of mastectomy:
• a simple, or total mastectomy is the removal of all of the breast tissue, but none of the underlying muscle nor the lymph nodes are removed
• a modified radical mastectomy is the removal of all of the breast tissue, as well as the lymph nodes on the same side of the body as the breast
• a radical mastectomy, also called a Halsted mastectomy is the removal of all of the breast tissue, the underlying muscle, as well as the lymph nodes on the same side of the body as the breast (this is rarely done now)
• a skin-sparing mastectomy is one in which the breast tissue is removed, but the breast skin is kept, so that in the case of immediate breast reconstruction (plastic surgery) no skin grafts will be needed, to cover the breast implant.
Also Known As: breast removal surgery.
Common Misspellings: masectomy, massectumy.
Examples: A mastectomy is used to treat any breast cancer that has spread, or invaded, breast tissues beyond the original tumor site. It is important that the surgeon be experienced in breast surgery, and that the surgical margins of the tissue that is removed are clear of cancer cells. A well-done mastectomy helps to prevent breast cancer recurrence.