Medical Definition of Mastectomy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Mastectomy: A general term for removal of the breast, usually to remove cancerous tissue. The operation can be done in a hospital or in an outpatient clinic, depending on how extensive it needs to be. After a mastectomy, reconstructive surgery may be performed to restore a more normal appearance. In cases of nonmetastatic breast cancer, a lumpectomy'with radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments'is sometimes performed as an alternative to mastectomy.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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