There are several ways your general surgeon may perform mastectomy, based on your cancer and your preferences. Modern mastectomy techniques enable you to choose the type of mastectomy you want. Whether you have already had a mastectomy or are currently in the process of planning one, breast reconstruction is an option available to you. The board-certified plastic surgeons at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery can help you look ahead to plan an integrated approach to mastectomy and breast reconstruction.
Types of Mastectomy Surgery
There are several ways to perform mastectomy. The right approach for you will depend on a variety of factors, all of which will be reviewed by your oncologist, general surgeon and our plastic surgeons. The most common techniques are:
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy. This technique leaves the nipple and areola unaffected. Only the underlying breast tissue is removed. This procedure is also known as a "subcutaneous mastectomy." Not every woman is a good candidate for a nipple-sparing mastectomy, but your surgeons can help you decide if it is right for you.
- Prophylactic mastectomy. Some women inherit a harmful mutation of two specific genes: BRCA1 and BRCA2. These women have a 60% risk of developing breast cancer. Depending on the recommendation of an experienced genetic counselor, women with mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes may wish to undergo a risk-reducing prophylactic mastectomy.
- Double mastectomy. In this technique, both breasts are removed instead of one. Many women who choose double mastectomy are at a high risk of developing breast cancer in the other breast, so both are removed as a preventive measure.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy. If you are a candidate for an immediate, single-stage breast reconstruction, then your surgeon may recommend a skin-sparing mastectomy. This technique leaves the skin covering the breast intact, although the nipple and areola will probably be removed.
There are a few other versions of mastectomy, all of which you and your oncologist and general surgeon will discuss as you plan your treatment. We will work closely with you and your medical team to develop a comprehensive treatment plan meeting your expectations.
Learning About Your Post-Mastectomy Reconstruction Options
After mastectomy, many women choose to reconstruct their breasts. Reconstruction is an option every woman should be informed of prior to mastectomy, and you have a right to clear, accurate information so that you can decide whether a reconstructive procedure is right for you.
Reconstruction of one or both breasts can be achieved with the following techniques:
Procedures to reconstruct the nipple and areola are also options post-mastectomy.
As you decide whether post-mastectomy reconstruction is right for you, our plastic surgeons will make sure you have all the information you need. Your reconstructive choices are dictated in part by the type of mastectomy you have; however, our plastic surgeons also want to hear what your wishes are and what you expect out of the procedure. Then they can make personalized, informed recommendations about your breast reconstruction.
To learn more about breast reconstruction after mastectomy in the Denver area, please call The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery at (720) 457-4461. Our experienced, board-certified plastic surgeons are located in Lone Tree, Colorado, and are proud to serve women from across Colorado and the entire USA.