Types Of Mastectomy

Breast cancer can be of several types; both invasive and non-invasive, meaning they can spread to the other normal tissue from the affected tissue or cells, or it can remain confined to the affected tissue.

As the types are various, the treatments are various too. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are some of them. These are non-surgical treatments. The surgical treatment involves removal of the breast with or without. This is called mastectomy. Again mastectomy is of several types.

The type of mastectomy to be performed depends on various matters like age, menopause status and general health; size, grade and stage of the tumor; hormone receptor status of the tumor and whether lymph nodes have been affected. So, here are the types of mastectomies performed on the basis of these conditions.

1.    Simple Mastectomy (Total Mastectomy)

This is the procedure where the entire breast is removed including the nipple. But the lymph nodes are kept intact. But in some cases the first axillary lymph node called the sentinel lymph node is also removed. Generally this type of surgery is performed on both breasts and the patient can leave the hospital after few days. This is done more as a preventive surgery so that the surrounding tissues are not affected.

2.    Modified Radical Mastectomy

In this type of mastectomy, the entire breast is removed along with all its fatty tissue and lymph nodes. Only the pectoral muscles or the chest muscles are spared.

3.    Radical Mastectomy

In radical mastectomy, the entire breast, lymph nodes, and all the major and minor muscles behind the breast are removed. It was first performed way back in 1882 and is also called Halsted mastectomy. This surgery deforms the body quite severely and is done only to increase the survival chances of the patient. When breast cancer recurs and affects the chest tissue also, only then doctors go for this type of surgery.

4.    Skin Sparing Mastectomy

This is a more modern concept. The affected breast tissue is removed though a relatively small incision made around the areola. Unlike the traditional procedures of mastectomy this procedure helps to preserve as much skin as possible. This allows enough scope for breast reconstruction procedure in the later stage. However, this type of surgery is not recommended for those who are suffering from cancer that affects skin like in the condition of inflammatory cancer.

5.    Nipple Sparing Mastectomy

This type of mastectomy is also called subcutaneous mastectomy. Here the breast tissue is removed but the nipple area along with the areola is spared. Once this procedure was done sparingly only on benign cases out of the fear that if performed on cancerous conditions, the residual ductal tissue in the areolar region can increase cancerous development. However, today it has been established as a safe procedure for the cases where the sub-areolar region is not affected.

6.    Extended Radical Mastectomy

This is the most extensive of all mastectomies. Here not only the breast tissues are removed with all its related potions like the nipple, areola and skin, but also the axillary and internal mammary lymph nodes, the pectoral tissues and all other tissues and lymph nodes that lie underneath and around the breast are removed too.