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Mastectomy

 

To make an appointment with a Maimonides breast specialist, call 718-765-2520 or request an appointment online.

 

It’s normal to feel some anxiety when you need a mastectomy to remove tissue from one of your breasts (or both). But the expert surgeons at Maimonides Breast center provide the care and support you need.

Our surgeons use smaller incisions, for less pain and scarring. They perform all types of mastectomies, with reconstruction to restore look and feel. Thanks to tumor-shrinking treatment, they may be able to even avoid mastectomy in the first place.

 

Potentially Avoiding Mastectomy

Neoadjuvant therapy uses medications — either chemotherapy or hormone therapy — to shrink a cancerous tumor before surgery. More than half of the women who receive neoadjuvant therapy at Maimonides experience a significant reduction in tumor size. As a result, these women can have a breast-conserving lumpectomy and radiation therapy, instead of a mastectomy. Learn more about lumpectomy.

 

Types of Mastectomies

If you do need a mastectomy, your doctor will recommend the best option for you based on the cancer’s location and severity. When possible, our breast surgeons preserve breast skin and nipples. This approach helps retain breast sensation.

Types of mastectomy include:

  • Total, or simple, mastectomy: Your surgeon removes all breast tissue, including the skin and nipple.

  • Modified radical mastectomy: Your surgeon removes all breast tissue and performs an axillary lymph node dissection, removing lymph nodes under the arm. Learn more about axillary lymph node dissection and lymph node biopsy.

  • Prophylactic (risk-reducing) mastectomy: Women who have a high risk of breast cancer based on family history or inherited genetic changes may choose to have a mastectomy to lower their cancer risk. Another option is to follow a more rigorous schedule for mammograms and breast cancer screenings. Our genetic counseling experts can help recommend the best option for you.

Post-Mastectomy Care

You may have several different health needs following your mastectomy. Our nurse navigator can provide information about the following helpful services:

  • Pain management

  • Breast reconstruction

  • Rehabilitative services

Pain management

Whenever possible, we manage your pain with long-acting local anesthesia and alternatives to traditional, highly-addictive pain medicines such as opioids. Maimonides Medical Center is nationally recognized for these post-surgical pain management protocols, which minimize the use of opioids.

Breast reconstruction

If you choose to have breast reconstruction following mastectomy, our breast surgeons work closely with Maimonides plastic surgeons to get you the best results. Many women choose to have reconstructive surgery at the same time as breast cancer surgery. Our plastic surgeons and breast surgeons plan their procedures together to minimize scarring and help restore the look and feel of natural breasts. Learn more about reconstructive breast surgery at Maimonides.

Rehabilitation services

Physical therapists in our physical rehabilitation medicine program can help relieve pain and discomfort in the chest and underarm area after surgery. Physical therapy can also help restore range of motion in your arms. And it can relieve swelling caused from lymphedema, a buildup of lymph fluid after the removal of lymph nodes.