Overview of the surgery:
Mastectomy is surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. An incision is made into the breast. The breast tissue is removed from the overlying skin and the underlying muscle. When an axillary dissection is done, it is typically via the same incision.
Duration of the operation:
1-3 hours duration
Post operative care:
One or two small plastic drains are usually left in place to prevent fluid from collecting in the space where the breast tissue used to be. Your surgeon will decide when these drains are removed, typically when the amount of fluid draining decreases to an acceptable volume. This may take a few days to a week or more.
The patient is taken to a recovery room to be monitored after the surgery. After the blood pressure, pulse and breathing become stable, the patient is shifted outside the recovery room. Pain medication may be given to reduce severe pain. The patient needs to stay in the hospital for some days depending on the method of mastectomy and reconstruction. The result after the mastectomy is given in about one week.
Possible risk and complications:
Mastectomy is very safe surgery, and most patients recover well with no complications. As with any surgery, however, there are risks. Possible complications are listed here, but keep in mind that unless stated otherwise, they usually do not happen.
The risks of any surgery are bleeding, infection, and injury to nearby tissues. Some post-operative pain and soreness is expected, but can be effectively treated with pain medication. There will also be a scar on the chest wall. Scarring occurs with all surgery, and is unavoidable.
The procedure uses General anesthesia
This procedure may be performed in the cosmetic surgeon’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or at a hospital. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis.
Preparation before Surgery
- Assessment of the medical history (any allergies, serious medical condition and all medications taken both prescribed and non-prescribed), physical examination, and laboratory tests will be performed during consultation.
- Blood and urine samples will be collected for routine preoperative laboratory tests.
- Smoking must be avoided for about 3-4 weeks prior to surgery, as nicotine interferes with circulation and will greatly affect healing process.
- You will likely to be asked to stop drinking alcohol, a week before the surgery and throughout your recovery period.
- Avoid taking any medications such as hormones, anticoagulants, anabolic steroids and supplements at least 4-6 weeks to prevent complicating medical factors prior to surgery. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
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