By Jamal Jordan
Not all mastectomies are created equal. In order to understand the various types of mastectomies, one must first understand what a mastectomy is.
There are two surgical options when faced with breast cancer; a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. A lumpectomy is a surgical procedure in which the cancerous tumor is removed along with some surrounding breast tissue, while a mastectomy is a surgical procedure in which the entire breast is removed.
Some patients choose a mastectomy because there may be a higher chance of cancer recurring with a lumpectomy.
Types of mastectomies:
Simple or Total Mastectomy
The entire breast, including the nipple, is removed with the exception of the lymph nodes and muscle tissues.
Both breasts are removed due to a high risk of the cancer spreading (metastasize).
Skin Sparing Mastectomy
The nipple, areola, and breast tissue are removed while the skin on top the breast is left untouched. This type of mastectomy is done for those who intend to have immediate breast reconstructive surgery.
Nipple Spearing Mastectomy
The nipple and skin on top the breast is left intact, while the breast tissue is removed. In the event cancer is found under the nipple and areola, the nipple must be removed. This type of mastectomy is similar to a skin sparing mastectomy.
Modified Radical Mastectomy
A variation of the total mastectomy that removes the entire breast including the lymph nodes under the arm.
A variation of the total mastectomy that removes the entire breast, including the lymph nodes under the arm, and the pectoral muscles under the breast.