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Modified Radical Mastectomy


Modified Radical Mastectomy

Many women choose breast reconstruction after a modified radical mastectomy. A modified radical mastectomy is the most common procedure when complete breast tissue needs removal. A single incision across the breast enables the surgeon to remove the entire breast, including the skin, nipple and areola, the lining over the chest wall muscles, and the lymph nodes in the armpit (which the surgeon examines to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the breast tissue.)

However, in a modified radical mastectomy, the underlying chest wall muscles remain intact. This is not the case with a radical mastectomy, during which chest wall muscles are removed.

This type of mastectomy is usually recommended for women with a large tumor, smaller size breasts or where the cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes.

Numbness in the upper arm, resulting from the loss of small nerves where lymph nodes are removed, may occur. The numbness may lessen over time.

Without breast reconstruction, a modified radical mastectomy may be completed in approximately two to three hours and usually requires a one to two-night hospital stay. Your personal treatment plan will be determined by your surgeon. Post mastectomy breast reconstruction (delayed breast reconstruction) is an option after a modified radical mastectomy. Reconstruction at the time of mastectomy (immediate breast reconstruction) may also be an option.