The London Clinic provides a full breast care service for women who are worried about their breast health or who have developed breast cancer.

Mastectomy is a procedure to remove a breast and can be the most appropriate treatment for some women with breast cancer. This type of breast surgery may just remove breast tissue or may also include the removal of lymph nodes in the armpit. Your expert surgeon will discuss the most appropriate options for you.

Mastectomy

A radical mastectomy includes removal of the muscles under the breast and the lymph nodes in the armpit as well as the breast, however in most cases  today your breast surgeon will perform a modified radical mastectomy in which the breast muscles are left intact, but the breast tissue and lymph nodes are removed if necessary.

A full discussion in respect of reconstruction will take place with the breast surgeon, the clinical nurse specialist and the plastic reconstructive surgeon outlining the options.

Sentinel node biopsy and axillary surgery

This form of breast surgery can be performed at the same time as a mastectomy to find out if the breast cancer has spread to the nearby lymph nodes in the armpit.

The sentinel node is identified using a radioactive tracer and is removed for histological examination during your breast surgery. There are several possible outcomes:

  • If no cancer cells are detected in the sentinel node, your surgeon will confirm that the breast cancer is still localised. Full removal of all the lymph nodes in the armpit may not be needed if this is the case.
  • If there is evidence of cancer cells in the sentinel node the surgeon may remove all the nodes in the armpit. This is called axillary dissection. This more extensive surgery may be done at the time of the tumour removal operation, or it can be done during a subsequent procedure.
  • If there is evidence of cancer cells in the axillary nodes generally, you may need a secondary node dissection to remove all of the affected tissue.

After your breast surgery

Your post-surgical care at The London Clinic will begin immediately on a dedicated floor of the hospital that is staffed by nurses specially trained in post-operative breast surgery.  You will also have full access to trained Macmillan counsellors both before and after your breast surgery.

Click here for the women's breast services page