A surgical procedure that eliminates part or all of the tissue in the breast(s) This surgery is done in order to prevent or treat existing cancer.

The procedure: Is elaborated depending on how advanced the cancer is, both patient and doctor will decide which surgery is more adequate. The surgery generally lasts from 2-4 hours patients are under general anesthesia and they are admitted to the hospital for 2 days, unless complications or a breast reconstruction is made.

There are different kinds of mastectomy procedures:

– Lumpectomy: this kind of surgery preserves the breast and treats the cancer (tumor) directly by removing such, although some patients are in higher risk to develop a second tumor.

– Bilateral mastectomy: removal of some or all of the tissue in both breasts.

– Radical mastectomy: the breast tissue, lymph nodes and chest muscles are removed.

– Radiation and mastectomy: it may occur if the patient has a stage 0 through stage III of breast cancer after lumpectomy or mastectomy. It is a good option as well for some with stage IV cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

– Breast Reconstruction: this procedure is an option for women who want their breast(s) to have the same appearance as the one(s)which were removed, this can be done on the same day after the mastectomy.

Mastectomy

Recovery:

-Draining tubes are introduced on the wound, with the purpose of excreting the blood and other fluids coming out from it, this helps reduce the swelling and also reduces the risk of infection.

Side Effects:

Physical:
– Pain and swelling
– Infections
– Numbness
– Hematomas
– Shoulder and chest pain
– Scars
– -Blood and fluid accumulation

emotional:
– woman may feel differently about her body after a mastectomy
– feelings of isolation, loss, and helplessness,
– sometimes anxiety, depression, can be present after the surgery is done.

Getting a mastectomy it’s not an easy thing to do, it treats cancer and women have to do it to so they can save their lives, women who go through this procedure are extremely brave and a the best example of admiration and strength, the best way to help women in dealing with the physical and emotional effects of a mastectomy is to support and motivate them.

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