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This “Surgical Patient Education” website contains educational information to help you and your families become informed about your operation and surgical care.

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What is mastectomy?
Mastectomy is the surgical removal of part or the entire breast and is performed to prevent or treat breast cancer.

What is partial mastectomy (lumpectomy)?
Lumpectomy, also called partial mastectomy, is the removal of part of the breast and sometimes nearby lymph nodes to remove suspected cancerous cells. It is the most common type of breast cancer surgery. Lumpectomy is followed by radiation therapy for approximately six weeks to destroy any cancer cells that may still be in the breast tissue.

Who are candidates for lumpectomy?
A lumpectomy is used to treat several conditions including:

What are alternatives to partial mastectomy?
A lumpectomy is performed with the specific intention of removing unwanted or unnecessary tissue from the breast. If extensive cancer is diagnosed, full removal of the breast (mastectomy) is advised to treat the cancer. When a lumpectomy is performed to remove cancerous breast tissue, a number of other treatment options are available, including:

Your treatment options depend on a number of factors including your age and menopausal status, general health, the size and location of the tumor and the stage of the cancer. In addition, the results of lab tests and the size of your breasts are considered. Certain features of the tumor cells (such as whether they depend on hormones to grow) are also considered. In most cases, the most important factor is the stage of the disease. The stage is based on the size of the tumor and whether the cancer has spread.

What is modified radical mastectomy?
A modified radical mastectomy involves removing the whole breast and axillary lymph nodes.

Who are candidates for modified radical mastectomy?
Modified radical mastectomy is recommended for women who have aggressive cancer or at high risk for cancer. It is also recommended for women who have small breasts and are not good candidates for lumpectomy.

What is the Lumpectomy / mastectomy recovery process?
Lumpectomy is typically an outpatient procedure while mastectomy is an in-patient procedure where you will have to stay 5-7 days in the hospital.

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Prior to any surgery, your doctor will give you a complete medical examination and evaluate your overall health and your health history. You may be required to get additional tests such as X-rays and lab tests. Your doctor will also review with you the potential risks and benefits of the operation and will ask you to sign a consent form.

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