Mastectomy for breast cancer involves excision of the breast tissue down to the underlying muscle (pectoral muscle). This also involves excision of the nipple/areola complex. The resulting scar is usually horizontally placed or may incline slightly towards the axilla. The scar may extend into the axilla itself in order to remove excessive axillary tissue or it may be quite short in order to allow reconstruction of the breast at the time of the mastectomy. A drain is usually placed in the wound for a few days. The technique is usually combined with assessment of the axilla with either sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary clearance.

Click here for more reading: National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre Website

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