Mastectomy means removal of all the breast tissue. This operation has evolved greatly over the last thirty years. Mastectomy involves removal of the breast tissue but not the underlying muscle and ribs, as was done until the 1960's. Many women choose to have breast reconstrunction surgery after mastectomy and most insurance companies will cover this surgery.
Many mastectomies can be performed as outpatient surgery. Some patients will require hospitalization.
The recovery time is longer than that for lumpectomy. The patient will be evaluated by the surgeon one week afetr mastectomy to determine when she can return to work and other normal activities.