What is a Mastectomy?

Mastectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove a woman’s breast partially or completely to treat or prevent breast cancer.

Why is a Mastectomy Needed?

Mastectomy is needed under falling conditions:

  • If you have a large tumor
  • If your tumor has occupied more than one part of your breast
  • Radiation therapy is not a treatment option for you
  • If you belong to BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene

What are the Types of Mastectomy?

A mastectomy can be categorized into following types:

  • Total mastectomy
  • Modified radical mastectomy
  • Radical mastectomy
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy
  • Nipple sparing mastectomy

General Surgeon in Karachi usually determines the type of mastectomy according to the size of breast and the type of cancer that a patient is suffering from.

How Can you Prepare Yourself for a Mastectomy?

Here is how you will be prepared for a mastectomy:

A consent form will be given to you, that they’re supposed to sign. This form permits the doctor to perform the procedure.

Then a healthcare provider takes notes about medical conditions, allergies to any medications, and names of medications that you are currently on.

Then you will be asked to not drink or eat anything at least 8 to 12 hours before your surgery.

Some things that you can do to comfort yourself during your stay at the hospital are to prepare your bag of toiletries and essentials. Carry your pillow and comfortable clothes with you to the hospital and arrange for an attendant to stay with you at the hospital and at home once you are back after the surgery.

How is a Mastectomy Performed?

Here is how a mastectomy is performed:

  • When you reach the hospital on the day of your pre-scheduled surgery you will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  • Then an intravenous line will be attached to your arm to transfer fluids and medicines.
  • Several monitoring units will then be attached to you to keep a check on your blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen level and breathing during the surgery.
  • Then you will be given anaesthesia, and as soon as anaesthesia starts working your doctor will start the surgery by making an incision around your breast.
  • Then they will remove your skin, areola, lymph nodes, nipples and breast tissues.
  • Breast tissue samples and lymph nodes will then be sent to a laboratory for further analysis and diagnosis.
  • All the premade incisions will then be stitched closed, leaving one or maybe two surgical drains from the incision. These drains prevent fluids from accumulating in the chest and they stay there for almost 2 weeks after the surgery.

The entire surgical procedure of a mastectomy may take 90 minutes to 2 hours approximately. This duration will certainly be increased if you are having a breast reconstruction along with a mastectomy.

Total Mastectomy | Moffitt | Moffitt

What Happens After a Mastectomy is Performed?

After the procedure is completed the patients are shifted to a recovery room until they are fully conscious and their blood pressure, breathing and pulse rate are stable.

The duration of the hospital stay is determined by the type of mastectomy performed on the patient. Generally patients leave the hospital after 2 to 3 days of the surgery.

After reaching home, patients are supposed to keep their surgical wound clean and dry. They also needed to replace their dressing if it gets wet during the shower.

Another important part of the after-care is taking care of the drainage tubes which are generally removed after 10 to 14 days of the mastectomy.

Pain relievers are prescribed to patients to relieve the soreness and pain. But it is strictly advised to take pain countering medications prescribed by your doctor only.

Some patients are also supposed to practice certain exercises after the mastectomy to prevent swelling and soreness in the shoulder and arm area.

Patients usually go back to their normal lives within a few weeks after their surgery.

If during the recovery period you notice fluids or bleeding from the incision, redness or increase in the pain on the incision site, or fever and chills get in touch with a General Surgeon in Islamabad immediately.