You might need breast surgery if you have a tumor in your breast. Tumors are lumps or tissue masses. They can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). There are several kinds of benign tumors. Fibroadenomas are one of the most common. Surgery isn’t usually needed for benign breast masses unless they’re large or causing other problems.
Malignant tumors develop when cells in your breast change. These changes mean the cells divide and multiply continually rather than having a limited lifespan like healthy cells. Malignant breast tumors are life-threatening without treatment.
Breast surgery might not be needed right away for a malignant tumor. Treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy could be sufficient at an early stage. But in many cases, breast surgery is a vital aspect of cancer treatment.
The breast surgery you have will depend on why you need surgery, the size of your lump, where it is, and if your cancer is spreading (metastasizing). Options the Arizona Preferred Surgeons team offers include:
A lumpectomy (excisional breast biopsy) removes a lump in the breast. Your surgeon retains as much healthy breast tissue as possible. You might have a lumpectomy for a benign tumor or early-stage breast cancer.
A total mastectomy removes all the breast tissue. Your surgeon leaves behind the lymph nodes under your arm.
Occasionally, patients need all the breast tissue and the lymph nodes removed (modified radical mastectomy). Rarely, surgeons do a radical mastectomy, removing the chest wall muscles as well.
The Arizona Preferred Surgeons team saves as much healthy tissue as possible during breast surgery. The team’s specialized skills enable them to use nipple- and areola-sparing techniques. These preserve the natural look and feel of your breast.
The time it takes to recover from breast surgery varies depending on your procedure. The more extensive the tissue removal, the longer your recovery will take.
If you have surgery for breast cancer, you might need 4-5 weeks of radiation therapy afterward. Radiation therapy destroys any remaining cancer cells. Another option is brachytherapy. Your surgeon implants a tiny amount of radioactive material into the breast during your surgery to wipe out stray cancer cells.
If you have extensive breast surgery, you might need reconstructive surgery to restore the natural breast shape.
Call Arizona Preferred Surgeons today or book an appointment online to learn more about breast surgery.