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A mastectomy is surgery to remove a breast. There are many ways the surgery can be done. The type of surgery you will have depends on your situation and whether you plan to have reconstructive surgery.
If a mastectomy is done to cure or prevent cancer, the entire breast, including the nipple, is removed. The doctor may also check the nearby lymph nodes during the surgery.
After surgery, you'll probably stay overnight in the hospital. You may be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 3 to 6 weeks. It depends on the type of work you do.
When you find out that you have cancer, you may feel many emotions and may need some help coping. Seek out family, friends, and counsellors for support. You also can do things at home to make yourself feel better during treatment. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit www.cancer.ca to learn more.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Laura S. Dominici MD - General Surgery, Breast Surgical Oncology
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