Understanding the Mastectomy Procedure

Updated on June 1, 2023

A mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove some or all breast tissue to treat or prevent breast cancer. It is a significant surgery that many women go through, and it is crucial to understand and prepare themselves for what happens before, during, and after the procedure.

Before the Procedure

A doctor or nurse will let the patient know when they are supposed to arrive at the hospital on the day of the surgery. If they get a mastectomy without reconstruction, it will take only one to three hours and is an outpatient procedure.

Whereas, if the patient is getting reconstruction and planning to buy a breast prosthesis in Florida or the surrounding area, then the surgery will take longer, and they will have to stay at the hospital potentially for another day.

During the Procedure

When a mastectomy is performed, it is done under general anesthesia, so the patient is not aware during the surgery. The surgeon begins by creating an elliptical incision around the breast and removing the tissue and possibly other parts of the breast, depending on the procedure needed. Regardless of the type of mastectomy, everything removed will be sent to the lab for analysis.

Once that is complete, if the patient is receiving reconstruction, a plastic surgeon will coordinate with the regular surgeon so they are available to come in at the same time as the surgery. There are a few options for women getting reconstruction, but they will want to discuss which would be best so there are no complications for further treatments after surgery.

After the mastectomy is complete, the doctor will close the incision with stitches. There is also a chance that two small plastic tubes will be placed in the area where the breast was removed to train any fluids that collect after the procedure.

After the Procedure

Once the surgery is over, the patient can expect to be taken to a recovery room, where they will be monitored. There will also be bandaging placed over the surgery site, and there will be pain or numbness in the underarm area. 

Before leaving the hospital, the patient will receive instructions on how to care for themselves at home, including caring for the incisions and drains, understanding their restrictions, and identifying signs of infection. Medication to handle the pain will most likely be prescribed, potentially an antibiotic.

A mastectomy is an effective procedure, and it is essential to understand what to expect before, during, and after the surgery.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.