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 your surgery, you will probably stay in the hospital overnight. Depending on the type of work you do, you may be able to go back to work or your normal routine in 3 to 6 weeks.
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. Your doctor can guide you to many local resources for support and more information. Call the Canadian Cancer Society (1-888-939-3333) or visit its website at www.cancer.ca for more information.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Having surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect and how to safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Laura S. Dominici, MD - Surgery, General Surgery, Oncology
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