Skip to Content
Home > Health Information > Health Library > Mastectomy
A mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast. It is used to treat breast cancer.
Mastectomy procedures include:
Depending on the location of the tumor in the breast and other factors, some women may be able to have a skin-sparing or nipple-sparing mastectomy. Skin-sparing mastectomy leaves most of the skin that was over the breast, except for the nipple and the areola. Nipple-sparing mastectomy saves the skin over the breast and it saves the nipple and areola.
The removal of the breast before cancer is diagnosed is called a prophylactic mastectomy. This type of mastectomy can be used to prevent breast cancer in women who have an extremely high risk of developing the disease.
Current as of:
December 19, 2018
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Laura S. Dominici, MD - Surgery, General Surgery, Oncology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
See important information from Billings Clinic on Non-discrimination and Interpreter Services.
Billings Clinic is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action (EOE/AA) e-verify employer.