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A mastectomy is a surgery done to remove breast tissue. A number of different mastectomy procedures exist. These include:

Breast-conserving surgery includes:

  • Lumpectomy—The tumor and a small margin of normal breast tissue around it is removed.
  • Partial mastectomy—Removal of part of the breast that has cancer and some normal tissue around it. This may include removal of lymph nodes or the lining of the chest muscle.

Breast-tissue removal surgery includes:

  • Simple mastectomy—The entire breast is removed, including the nipple and areola.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy—The skin that covers the breast is left intact except for the nipple and areola. This surgery is similar to a simple mastectomy. It is done when immediate breast reconstruction is planned. The procedure has limitations and may not be an option for all women.
  • Modified radical mastectomy—The entire breast, some lymph nodes in the armpit, and any affected chest muscle is removed.
  • Radical mastectomy—The entire breast, lymph nodes, and muscles of the chest wall are removed (rarely done).

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