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Cancer is one of the diseases that cause the most deaths worldwide after cardiovascular diseases. Breast cancer occurs when a tumour occurs due to the uncontrolled proliferation of breast tissue cells. In breast cancer, where early diagnosis is very important, breast removal surgery can be performed according to the diagnosis. Breast removal, i.e. mastectomy, is the preferred surgical method as a medical necessity in cases like breast cancer. 

What is mastectomy?

Breast removal is one of the surgical treatment methods for breast cancer. This surgery is performed in the form of removal of breast tissue and is an important treatment to get rid of cancer cells. There are different types of breast removal surgery that can be used as follows:

  • Tumour removal only
  • Removal of part of the breast tissue along with the tumour
  • Removal of the entire breast tissue
  • Removal of lymph nodes

Breast cancer is a disease that occurs as a result of a tumour that occurs due to the alteration and uncontrolled proliferation of one of the groups of cells that make up the breast tissue. The cancerous tissue spreads first to the immediate area and then to the lymph nodes near the breast. In patients who are not diagnosed early, the cancer spreads to other organs, making treatment almost impossible. 

The chances of success in breast cancer treatments are directly proportional to early detection. The earlier the cancer is detected, the higher the survival rate, which is as high as 96%. The goal of breast cancer treatment is to completely remove the tumour from the body and prevent recurrence or metastasis. There are 3 types of surgery under the main title: 

In order to prevent breast cancer in women, all women aged 20 years and above, especially women aged 40 to 69 years, should have regular palpation. In addition, breast self-examination is very important, and the chance of treatment increases with early diagnosis.

In what situations is breast removal surgery performed?

Mastectomy is one of the methods used to treat breast cancer. Some of the situations in which breast removal surgery may be considered necessary as a treatment method are as follows:

  • Treatment of early and advanced stage breast cancer.
  • Preventive treatment in patients with a first-degree relative with a history of breast cancer and a high predisposition to it
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Paget's disease

What are the types of mastectomy?

The types of breast removal surgery consist of different types, depending on the technique of the procedure and the tissue removed. Nowadays, the types of mastectomy consist of:

  • Total (single) mastectomy
  • Double mastectomy
  • Radical mastectomy
  • Modified radical mastectomy
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy
  • Skin sparing mastectomy

That being said, treatment options may differ for many breast cancers. Among these options, lumpectomy can remove the tumour and a small amount of healthy tissue around it. These techniques consist of minimally invasive breast cancer surgery techniques. 

How is breast removal surgery performed?

Breast removal surgery begins by thoroughly educating the patient about the surgery. The patient should be informed in advance about the possible risks. Preplanning is also done for patients who want breast aesthetics after mastectomy. Then the mastectomy application is completed with the following steps:

  • The patient is given general anaesthesia.
  • The mastectomy is started with the planned technique.
  • An incision is made in the ideal area and the breast tissue is separated and removed from the skin and pectoral muscles.
  • The lymph node is removed. (This step is skipped in patients who do not absolutely need it).
  • If reconstruction is planned, the breast is reshaped by a plastic surgeon. 
  • After drainage is inserted, the incision is sutured and bandaged, and the surgery is completed.

Mastectomy, or breast removal, has a surgical process that takes an average of 2 to 3 hours.