Mastectomy involves the surgical removal of the entire breast. The types of mastectomies include:
Simple/Total the breast is removed but the lymph nodes under the arm and muscle tissue beneath the breast are NOT routinely removed; it may be combined with lymph node sampling, such as a sentinel lymph node biopsy.
Skin-sparing for women opting for immediate breast reconstruction, much of the skin is left intact allowing for a more natural looking reconstructed breast. This procedure is performed in coordination with a reconstructive plastic surgeon.
Nipple-sparing when possible, based on physiological factors of the tumor and aesthetic concerns, this technique preserves the nipple and areola and is combined with immediate reconstruction.
Modified radical the entire breast and some of the underarm lymph nodes are removed.
Radical mastectomy rarely performed any more, in this procedure the surgeon removes the entire breast, all of the underarm lymph nodes and chest wall muscles under the breast.
Prophylactic Mastectomy usually performed on the unaffected breast for risk reduction when a woman is undergoing a mastectomy for breast cancer; it may also be done for women at high risk of getting breast cancer.