Jefferson University Hospitals


Mastectomy (simple mastectomy) involves the removal of the entire breast, including the nipple. If you are diagnosed with breast cancer or are at especially high risk and a mastectomy is determined to be the best treatment option for you, Jefferson’s team of oncologists, surgeons, pathologists and other breast cancer specialist will work with you to carefully guide you through your care while taking into account all your medical and emotional needs.

Our team of oncologists, surgeons, pathologists and other breast cancer specialists will work with you and your family to determine if mastectomy is the best treatment for you or if you would benefit from a breast-sparing procedure such as lumpectomy.

What Does Mastectomy Involve?

If a mastectomy is the treatment option chosen, Jefferson's skilled plastic surgeons may be able to provide immediate breast reconstruction. Our surgeons are experienced in performing many different reconstruction procedures, including an innovative technique that uses an implant filled with tissue transferred from the back, belly or buttocks. Through this procedure, called latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction, surgeons are able to take tissue from the back to maintain the new breast's shape until a permanent implant can be put in.

Types of Mastectomy

Partial Mastectomy

A partial mastectomy is the same surgical procedure as a lumpectomy.

Modified Radical Mastectomy

A modified radical mastectomy is similar to the simple mastectomy, but the lymph nodes in the armpit are also removed. Generally, the first step is the removal of the sentinel lymph node under the arm to determine if cancer has spread. If the sentinel lymph node shows cancer, then removal of the lymph nodes under the arm (axillary lymph node dissection) is done.

Radical Mastectomy

Includes the removal of the entire breast, plus the removal of underlying chest wall muscles (pectoralis major, pectoralis minor), along with removal of the axillary lymph nodes. It was a standard operative procedure for 30 years; it is rarely performed today.

Why Choose Jefferson for Breast Cancer Treatment in Philadelphia?

No matter what treatment you receive, our specially trained nurse breast care coordinator will assist you at every step to ensure you receive the support, information and resources you need. The coordinator will handle the logistics of your care and address any concerns you may have with your medical and support team.

The Jefferson Breast Care Center has full accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Cancers (NAPBC). Administered by the American College of Surgeons, the NAPBC recognizes centers that achieve the highest standards for breast cancer treatment in the areas of leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement.