Carolina Breast Care Specialists, PA
Sean T. Canale, MD, FACS
Oncoplastic Breast Surgery located in Raleigh, NC
When you’re facing a breast cancer diagnosis, different mastectomy techniques are available depending on the extent of your condition. At Carolina Breast Care Specialists, PA, Dr. Sean T. Canale, MD, FACS, brings more than 20 years of experience as a surgeon, treating breast cancer to women in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. To schedule a same-day, next-day, or second opinion breast cancer consultation, call Carolina Breast Care Specialists, or book an appointment online today.
Mastectomy Q & A
What is a mastectomy?
A mastectomy is a breast cancer treatment designed to either treat or prevent breast cancer.
Unlike a lumpectomy that removes your tumor and a small amount of breast tissue, a mastectomy removes all of your breast tissue. You can have a mastectomy to remove a single breast, known as a unilateral mastectomy. It’s also possible to have a bilateral mastectomy that removes both of your breasts.
When you have a mastectomy, you can also have breast reconstruction to restore your breast shape.
Are there different types of mastectomy?
Dr. Canale uses several different mastectomy techniques, depending on the type and extent of your cancer. The most common mastectomy procedures include:
- Total mastectomy, or simple mastectomy: removes your entire breast, areola, and nipple
- Skin-sparing mastectomy: removes your breast tissue, areola, and nipple, but preserves your breast skin
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy: removes your breast tissue, but preserves your areola, nipple, and skin
When you have a mastectomy, you might also undergo a sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary node dissection. These procedures involve removing a portion of or all of the lymph nodes in your armpits near your breast with cancer.
What can I expect during a mastectomy?
Dr. Canale performs your mastectomy while you’re under general anesthesia.
To remove the affected breast tissue, he makes an incision around your breast. Depending on specific mastectomy technique he uses, Dr. Canale may also remove your nipple, areola, and breast skin. If you’re undergoing breast reconstruction, this procedure might begin at the same time.
After completing your procedure, Dr. Canale closes your incision with stitches and may place small plastic drain tubes where your breast tissue was removed. He fixes these tubes in place and attaches them to a small drainage bag. These drains keep any fluids that develop after your surgery from staying in your body.
When you have a mastectomy, it’s common to have some pain or numbness in your underarm and a bandage over the surgical site. Dr. Canale gives detailed instructions on caring for yourself and your incision when you go home. He also provides medication to help manage any pain or discomfort.
Dr. Canale also sends tissue collected during your mastectomy for analysis. This assessment can provide additional information on your breast cancer and if further treatment is required.
Call Carolina Breast Care Specialists, or schedule an appointment online today.