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Breast Surgery

Committed to the highest standards of surgical care for breast cancer patients

If you are considering surgery for breast cancer treatment, or as a precautionary measure if you are at a high risk for breast cancer, rest assured our surgeons are committed to helping you get the best outcome possible. Our designation as an American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgical Quality Partner indicates we have the highest and most rigorous standards for cancer-related surgical care.

Breast cancer treatment

For most women, surgery will be part of cancer treatment. Your options may include a lumpectomy, mastectomy or mastectomy with breast reconstruction. The extent of your cancer and your personal preferences will help determine which of these surgeries is the right choice for you.

  • Lumpectomy: A lumpectomy, also called breast-conserving surgery, removes only the part of the breast containing the cancer and a small rim of healthy breast tissue around it, called the margin. This may be an outpatient surgery.
  • Mastectomy: A mastectomy is a surgery in which the entire breast is removed. Mastectomy may be done on one or both breasts.

Breast surgeons affiliated with BCH generally recommend one of three types of mastectomy:

  • Total mastectomy: This surgery removes the entire breast, including the breast tissue, nipple, and areola, and most of the skin covering the breast. The surgery is often recommended for women who do not have cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes, but who are not candidates for lumpectomy.
  • Modified-radical mastectomy: This surgery combines a total mastectomy with the removal of underarm lymph nodes. It is the procedure of choice for women with invasive breast cancer that has spread to the underarm lymph nodes.
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy: This surgery leaves the nipple in place.

Prophylactic mastectomy

Some women, on the advice of their doctors, may choose to have a mastectomy as a precautionary measure if they are at a high risk for breast cancer. A prophylactic mastectomy can lower breast cancer risk by at least 95% in women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations or with a strong family history of breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. If you have a prophylactic mastectomy, you may want to combine it with breast reconstruction surgery.

Contact us today

Nanna Bo Christensen, RN, OCN, CBCN, BCH’s Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator, is here to support you in making these very personal choices. She can be reached at 303-415-7057 or

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