Treatment Duration

2 hours


3 hours

Treatment Cost

Rs 1,00,000


Rs 1,60,000

Mastectomy: Understanding the Surgery, Benefits, and FAQs

Mastectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of one or both breasts, partially or entirely. It is most commonly performed as a treatment for breast cancer but can also be considered as a preventive measure for individuals at high risk of developing breast cancer. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of mastectomy, including what it is, who may need it, how it is performed, what to expect from this surgery, its cost in top Indian hospitals, the risks of not getting it, and the numerous benefits it offers.

What is Mastectomy?

Mastectomy, also known as breast removal surgery, is a medical procedure that entails the complete or partial removal of one or both breasts. This surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or those who have a high risk of developing the disease due to factors such as a strong family history of breast cancer or the presence of certain genetic mutations, like BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Who Needs Mastectomy?

1.Breast Cancer Patients:

Mastectomy is a common treatment option for breast cancer patients, especially in cases where the cancer has spread throughout the breast tissue, or when the tumor is large and cannot be completely removed with lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery).

2.High-Risk Individuals:

Some individuals may choose to undergo prophylactic mastectomy if they are at a significantly high risk of developing breast cancer. This includes individuals with a family history of the disease or those who carry specific genetic mutations known to increase breast cancer risk.

3.Reconstruction Candidates:

Patients who opt for breast reconstruction following mastectomy also need this surgery as it provides a clean canvas for reconstructive procedures.

How is Mastectomy Performed?

Mastectomy can be performed using different techniques, depending on the patient's condition and preferences. Some common approaches include:

1.Total Mastectomy:

In this procedure, the entire breast tissue, including the nipple and areola, is removed. It is often recommended for patients with early-stage breast cancer or as a preventive measure for high-risk individuals.

2.Modified Radical Mastectomy:

This surgery involves removing the entire breast tissue along with the axillary lymph nodes. It is commonly recommended for patients with more advanced breast cancer.

3.Skin-Sparing Mastectomy:

In this approach, the breast tissue is removed, but the outer skin of the breast is preserved. It is often used for individuals who plan to undergo breast reconstruction.

4.Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy:

This procedure removes the breast tissue while preserving the nipple and areola. It is an option for selected breast cancer patients and those seeking breast reconstruction.

5.Prophylactic Mastectomy:

This is a preventive mastectomy performed on individuals at high risk of breast cancer. It can involve the removal of one or both breasts to reduce the risk of cancer development.

What to Expect from Mastectomy Surgery

Before undergoing mastectomy, patients can expect several key aspects:

1.Preoperative Consultation: You will meet with your surgical team to discuss the surgery, risks, benefits, and options for breast reconstruction if desired.

2.Anesthesia: Mastectomy is typically performed under general anesthesia, ensuring you are completely unconscious during the procedure.

3.Length of Surgery: The duration of the surgery can vary but generally takes a few hours.

4.Hospital Stay Most patients will spend a night or two in the hospital for monitoring and recovery.

5.Recovery Time: Recovery time varies but usually involves several weeks of limited physical activity and follow-up appointments with your medical team.

Cost of Mastectomy in Top Indian Hospitals

The cost of mastectomy in India can vary significantly depending on factors like the type of surgery, hospital, surgeon's fees, and any additional procedures such as breast reconstruction. On average, the cost of a mastectomy in a top Indian hospital can range from INR 1,50,000 to INR 4,50,000 or more.

Risks of Not Getting a Mastectomy

Choosing not to undergo a recommended mastectomy can have serious consequences, especially for individuals with breast cancer or a high risk of developing the disease. Risks of not getting a mastectomy include:

1.Cancer Progression: For breast cancer patients, delaying or avoiding mastectomy can lead to the progression of the disease, making treatment more challenging.

2.Higher Mortality Risk: Failing to address breast cancer through mastectomy may increase the risk of cancer-related mortality.

3.Emotional and Psychological Stress: Living with the constant fear of cancer can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being.

4.Limited Treatment Options: In some cases, delaying mastectomy may limit treatment options, making it harder to achieve a complete cure.

Benefits of Mastectomy

Cancer Treatment: Mastectomy is an effective treatment for breast cancer, often resulting in the complete removal of cancerous tissue.

1.Risk Reduction: Prophylactic mastectomy can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk individuals.

2.Improved Survival Rates: For many breast cancer patients, mastectomy can improve survival rates, especially when performed in the early stages of the disease.

3.Breast Reconstruction: Mastectomy provides a platform for breast reconstruction, allowing patients to regain a sense of normalcy after surgery.

4.Peace of Mind: Prophylactic mastectomy can provide peace of mind to individuals with a strong family history of breast cancer or genetic mutations, reducing the constant worry about cancer development.


Mastectomy is a surgical procedure with significant implications for breast cancer treatment and risk reduction. Whether you are facing breast cancer or considering a preventive measure, it's essential to discuss your options with a medical professional who can provide personalized guidance. This surgery offers the potential for improved health, peace of mind, and the possibility of breast reconstruction, helping individuals regain confidence and quality of life. If you have further questions or concerns about mastectomy, consult with your healthcare provider to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.


No, there are other options such as lumpectomy (breast-conserving surgery) and radiation therapy. The choice depends on the stage and type of cancer.

Yes, breast reconstruction is a common option following mastectomy. It can be done at the same time as mastectomy or as a separate procedure.

Depending on the stage and characteristics of your cancer, your doctor will determine if additional treatments are necessary.

Recovery time varies from person to person, but most individuals can resume normal activities within a few weeks to a few months.

Sensation loss is possible, especially with total mastectomy. Nipple-sparing mastectomy may preserve some sensation.

Many health insurance policies in India cover mastectomy as a medically necessary procedure. Check with your insurance provider for details.

Mastectomy typically removes the ability to breastfeed from the affected breast(s). Discuss this with your surgeon before the surgery.

Long-term side effects can include changes in body image, emotional adjustments, and potential complications from breast reconstruction.

Yes, many women choose to wear breast forms or prostheses to achieve a balanced appearance.

Yes, follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor your health and address any post-surgery concerns.

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