Simple mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast including the nipple and areola.
is the removal of the glandular tissue of the breast, leaving the skin of the breast and nipple in place to assist with cosmetic appearance during reconstruction.
is the removal of the glandular tissue of the breast along with the nipple but leaving behind sufficient skin to assist with cosmetic appearance during reconstruction. This operation is appropriate if a patient desires reconstruction but the nipple cannot be safely preserved.
Axillary lymph node dissection
involves the removal of most of the lymph nodes in the axilla to systematically clear the area of potential cancer.
Excisional breast biopsy
is the removal of an area of the breast for further evaluation.
Lumpectomy or partial mastectomy
is the removal of a breast tumor along with a healthy rim of tissue surrounding the tumor, leaving the remainder of the breast in place. If the tumor cannot be felt, the breast cancer is first localized using a wire or marker placed by a radiologist.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy
is an injection of radiotracer, blue dye, or both to identify the lymph nodes draining the breast. Using a gamma probe or with visualization, these nodes are carefully removed to assess if the cancer has spread beyond the breast.