with Mercy Breast Clinic
Surgery is the next step up in treating breast cancer and it can be an emotional, mental and physical journey for patients. Some women may not have undergone surgery before, some may be opting for preventative surgery, we understand that each patient is unique and must receive support that is akin to their situation. Our staff will be by your hand and on hand before, during and after your procedure.
Before any of our patients undergo breast surgery, we ensure they are well equipped with all the information and guidance they need going forward. We also help organise and plan post-operative care, ensuring minimal stress and a smoother recovery.
A mastectomy treats breast cancer by removing all or part of the breast through surgery. Depending on your individual needs, the type of mastectomy varies from patient to patient. For example, you may need a total mastectomy to remove the whole breast, a breast conserving procedure to remove part of the breast, or you may opt for a preventative mastectomy – prophylactic mastectomy – if you have a high genetic risk of developing breast cancer.
Breast cancer surgery includes checking the lymph nodes that sit in the armpit. If there is no evidence of spread to nodes at diagnosis then you will just have a Sentinel Node Biopsy at the same time as your breast surgery. If nodes are involved then you will require axillary node surgery.
If you have a simple mastectomy, our surgeons will remove all breast tissue, skin and nipple. The muscles beneath the breast are left in place and after healing a special bra and prosthesis is provided. For women with a large tumour or multiple tumours then a simple mastectomy may be the best option. Some women choose to have a simple mastectomy. A key benefit of undergoing a total mastectomy is that radiation therapy may not needed.
If you have a small solitary breast tumour a partial mastectomy may be the right option. Our specialist will surgically remove the lump and a portion of surrounding normal breast tissue. The small defect in the breast is then repaired using oncoplastic techniques to maintain a near normal appearance of the treated breast. This approach usually requires the addition of radiotherapy a few weeks after surgery. A key benefit of this approach is that the breast shape and form is better preserved.
These types of mastectomy are used in conjunction with breast reconstruction. The breast tissue (with or without the nipple) is removed preserving the majority of the overlying skin to allow a new breast shape to be placed within the skin. This is either a silicon implant or a breast shaped flap made from your tummy or back.