Breast Surgery in Houston

A Breast Surgery/mastectomy is a surgery to remove the entire breast. Usually, some of the skin and the nipple are also removed. Breast Surgery in Houston is most often done to treat breast cancer. There are different types of mastectomies. Which one your surgeon performs depends on the type of breast problem you have and your own preferences.

breast surgery
credit: Scott Holmes

Types of Procedures of Breast Surgery

The surgeon will make an incision in your breast and perform one of these operations:

1. Skin-sparing mastectomy: With a skin-sparing mastectomy, the nipple and some skin including the areola are removed along with the breast, but most of the breast skin remains.

2. Nipple-sparing mastectomy: is the removal of the breast, but leaving all of the skin and the nipple

3. Total or simple mastectomy: The surgeon cuts breast tissue free from the skin overlying the breast and muscle under the breast and removes it. The nipple and the areola are also removed.

Breast reconstruction: One of our specialist plastic surgeons may be able to reconstruct the breast with implants or normal tissue during the same operation. If you have breast reconstruction, a skin-sparing mastectomy or nipple sparing mastectomy may be a good option.

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Why the Procedure Is Performed

The most common reason for a mastectomy is breast cancer.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, talk to your doctor about your choices:

Breast Surgery in Houston is when only the breast cancer and tissue around the cancer are removed. This is also called breast conservation therapy or partial Breast Surgery in Houston. Most of your breast will be left.

Mastectomy is when all breast tissue is removed. Mastectomy is a better choice if the area of cancer is too large to remove without deforming the breast.

The choice of what is best for you can be difficult. You and the health care providers who are treating your breast cancer will decide together what is best.

Women who have a very high risk of developing breast cancer may choose to have a preventive (or prophylactic) mastectomy to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

You may be more likely to get breast cancer if one or more close family relatives has had the disease, especially at an early age. Genetic tests (such as BRCA1 or BRCA2) may guide you about risk.

Prophylactic mastectomy should be done only after very careful thought and discussion with your doctor, a genetic counselor, your family, and loved ones.

Mastectomy greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer but does not eliminate it.

You and your doctor should consider:

  • The size and location of your tumor
  • How many tumors there are in the breast
  • How much of the breast is affected
  • The size of your breast
  • Family history
  • Your general health

Before Your Surgery

You may have blood and imaging tests (such as CT scans, bone scans, and chest x-ray) after your doctor finds breast cancer. Your surgeon will want to know that cancer remains localized.

Several days before your surgery, you may be asked to stop taking aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), vitamin E, clopidogrel (Plavix), warfarin (Coumadin), and any other drugs or natural products that make it hard for your blood to clot.

Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of Breast Surgery.

After the Procedure

Most women only stay overnight in the hospital after a mastectomy. The time you stay will depend on the type and extent of surgery you had. If you have a simple mastectomy, you might go home on the same day. You may be in the hospital longer if you have breast reconstruction.

Many women go home after mastectomy with one or two drainage tubes still in their chest, which remove fluid that could collect where the surgery is done. a doctor will remove them later during an office visit. A nurse will teach you and your caregiver how to look after the drain.

You may have pain around the site of your operation after surgery. The pain is moderate after the first day and then goes away over a period of a few weeks. You will receive pain medicines before you are released from the hospital.

Fluid may collect in the area of your mastectomy after all the drains are removed. This is called a seroma. It usually goes away on its own, but it may need to be drained using a needle (aspiration).


National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Breast cancer, v1.2014. National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. 2013.

Hunt KK, Green MC, Buchholz TA. Diseases of the breast. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 36.

Cuzick J, DeCensi A, Arun B, Brown PH, Castiglione M, Dunn B, et al. Preventive therapy for breast cancer: a consensus statement. Lancet Oncol. 2011;12:496-503.

Giuliano AE, Hunt KK, Ballman KV, Beitsch PD, Whitworth PW, Blumencranz PW, et al. Axillary dissection vs no axillary dissection in women with invasive breast cancer and sentinel node metastasis: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2011;305:569-575.

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