What is Breast Cancer Surgery?

Breast cancer is found in the cells of the breasts. Breast cancer is common cancer in women after skin cancer. 

Types of Breast Cancer


The appearance of a lump, change in the size, appearance, or shape of the breast, dimpling in the breast, and peeling, scaling of the pigmented area of the skin surrounding the breast, and Redness of the skin over your breast are some common sign and symptoms of breast cancer.

Surgery for Breast Cancer

Surgery can remove as maximum cancer as possible. It is essential to determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes to restore the breast size and appearance. It is also found useful to relieve symptoms of advanced cancer.

Several types of surgery used to remove breast cancer are as follows:


Also referred to as breast-conserving surgery. During this, the surgeon will remove the cancerous portion of the breast. The aim is to remove cancer with some surrounding tissue.

It is recommended for removing smaller tumors, while for larger tumors patient has to undergo chemotherapy before this surgery to shrink a tumor so that it can be removed with a lumpectomy procedure.


During a mastectomy, the surgeon removes all of the breast tissue, lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, and also some skin, including the nipple and areola this leads. Skin-sparing mastectomy and nipple-sparing mastectomy are the most sought after operations for breast cancer.

Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy

Women having cancer in one breast also chose to remove the healthy breast to prevent cancer development. These women tend to have a high risk of developing cancer in the other breast due to strong family history. 

Surgery to remove nearby lymph nodes

If the breast cancer has spread to axillary or underarm lymph nodes, one or more lymph nodes will be removed. The removed lymph node will be used to check the stage (extent) of cancer. 

There are two main types of surgery that is used to remove lymph nodes are:

  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is a procedure in which the surgeon will remove the lymph node under the arm where the chance of spreading cancer is more. 
  • Axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) is a procedure in which the surgeon removes a maximum of 20 underarm lymph nodes. ALND is not done nowadays, but it helps to look at the lymph nodes in some situations.