Published: 04/02/2011 - Updated: 10/09/2018
Mastectomy is the surgical removal of the entire breast that is performed to treat breast tissue diseases such as breast cancer or in cases of carcinoma, a precancerous condition which could become invasive cancer.
Types of mastectomy
There are 4 types of mastectomy, which are classified as follows:
- Subcutaneous mastectomy: the removal of entire breast but leaves in place the nipple and areola (the pigmented circle around the nipple).
- Total Mastectomy (or simple): the entire breast is removed, but not the lymph nodes under the arm.
- Radical Modified mastectomy: here removes the entire breast and most of the lymph nodes under the arm.
- Radical mastectomy: includes removal of deep muscles of the chest wall called pectorals, as well as the breast and axillary lymph nodes. Before, this surgery was done often, but now is rarely used.
Is mastectomy necessary?
If you have not been operated, you might consider other alternatives before. The body has a remarkable healing ability; the disease only speaks of imbalances and a series of habits that impede the flow of its ability to repair itself. It only requires to be provided with the necessary elements and the body will undoubtedly respond.
A proper diet is essential to begin to address this condition. On the other hand, consider other issues that also influence your health status. Your attitude, how you feel and live life, for instance, determine how the body behaves. It is therefore necessary to look within yourself and organize your feelings and your life; the disease can be an amazing opportunity for you to discover things you never knew.
You should take into account this, especially if it is a case of preventive or prophylactic mastectomy, which involves the removal of one or both breasts to prevent cancer risk. If this is your case, you can certainly consider a reassessment of your lifestyle and health, the disease doesn’t begin in the body, so it is necessary to consider its deep roots which conventional medicine often discards.
The decision to test the natural and alternative medicine before surgery is personal and may depend on how advanced the cancer is, although it is always advisable to do everything possible so that the body repairs itself. Often cut off doesn’t solve the problem because you are not attacking the real problem.
However, if there is no other choice and you have decided, or the operation must be done, do not feel bad. Remember that every experience always brings something of value but for now we cannot see. So you have to trust the process of life and try to focus on the experience from the perspective of new learning.
After a mastectomy operation, a woman can take a variety of accommodations in life, especially in the emotional issues. In terms of physical aspects, after the operation you may have:
- Stiffness or tightness in the shoulder: this usually happens due to the removal of lymph nodes in the armpit, but this disappear over time. It’s good to do exercise and physiotherapy.
- Accumulation of fluid in the arm: it will vanish by itself, but may occasionally require needle drainage.
- Postoperative swelling of the arm: on the same side of the breast that was removed. This swelling (called lymphedema) is uncommon but when present can be a persistent problem and carries an increased risk of infection.
Emotional factors after mastectomy
A lot of femininity is culturally associated with the breast, which is one of the most sexual parts of women and also is a symbol of motherhood.
How does woman feel after a mastectomy?
Losing a body part always confronts new adaptations. And when a woman loses this important part of the body, she might feel in many ways that this can affect her self-esteem and safety.
Loving and accepting you after mastectomy
At first, women may feel insecure, or feel rejected by their body, perhaps angry or upset by the circumstances. Anyway, women need to understand that although they may need time to adapt, losing part of their body does not make them any less worthy of being loved and respected as a woman. Self-esteem should not depend on how the body looks, but how you feel and emotional integrity. If a mastectomy is an action focused on health, then women should think that their health will be better and may bring new things in life and perhaps they will discover a profound message of what has happened. Rejection and disapproval of the body should be avoided, only generate an indoor environment that may lead to a poor recovery.
Perhaps this is a very important moment in women, learn to value and accept more without concepts or judgments. So every time you catch yourself rejecting your body or feeling "bad" for this, focus your attention on loving and beautiful thoughts to you.
And finally, there is the possibility of breast reconstruction with artificial implants or even with the skin itself. This reconstruction can be performed in the same operation or after a time. The decision of when is the best time for breast reconstruction is a decision to be taken by women and doctors.