Breast Surgery Types and Conditions

Breast surgery is any procedure that modifies a woman’s or man’s breasts and can include both medical procedures or cosmetic reconstruction. While both medically necessary and cosmetic breast surgeries are common for women, they are fairly uncommon for men and can be either inpatient or outpatient procedures.

Scar from breast cancer operation.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the breast tissue, caused by cells mutating and growing out of control that creates a mass of tissue called a tumor.

There are several types of breast cancer surgery to remove the tumor and, sometimes, the entire breast:

  • Mastectomy: breast surgery that treats both late-stage and early-stage breast cancers. There are several types of mastectomy, including total (the entire breast is removed), double (both breasts are removed), and nipple-sparing (all breast tissue is removed with the skin spared for reconstruction surgery).
  • Lumpectomy: sometimes referred to as breast-conserving surgery, as it removes only a part of the breast tissue. This procedure is reserved for early-stage breast cancer. There are different types of lumpectomies as well, including excisional (removing the tumor for a biopsy), wide local excision (removing the tumor and a margin of surrounding tissue), and quadrantectomy (removing a quarter of the breast, including the duct-lobular system).

Benign Breast Diseases

Not all breast conditions are cancerous, some medical breast surgeries are performed to remove non-cancerous lumps and for breast reduction. Some benign breast diseases include:

A doctor examining a mammogram.

Types of Breast Surgery

Whether the procedure is performed to halt the progression of cancer or to treat a non-cancerous condition, there are several types of breast surgeries that can be performed outside of cosmetic reasons:

There are also procedures to determine if cancer cells are present within a tumor or lump known as biopsies. There are two categories of biopsy that a surgeon may perform to identify the breast condition:

Non-Surgical Biopsy Techniques​

  • Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNAB): Using a small needle, the doctor will remove cells from a lump without removing it.
  • Ultrasound Guided Biopsy: using sound waves to identify where the tumor is, they will then insert a biopsy needle to take tissue samples.

Surgical Biopsies

  • Breast Lumpectomy: with the patient under general anesthesia, the surgeon will remove the tumor and surrounding tissue for a lab to analyze.
  • Mastectomy: removing all or some of the breast.
  • Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: After the surgeon injects a blue dye or radioactive substance to locate the lymph nodes needing to be removed, the surgeon makes a small incision and removes the lymph node that has the substance in it.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Surgeons

Proliance Surgical Specialists of Edmonds takes pride in the level of comfort and care we provide the community. If you would like to make an appointment and discuss your breast health or surgery options, we encourage you to reach out.