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Breast Surgery

Breast Abscess Drainage

A breast abscess is a collection of fluid that can develop in the breast as a result of an infection, most often developing in women who breastfeed. To remove fluid, drainage of the abscess or antibiotic treatment may be required. This procedure may be performed under ultrasound or CT guidance to ensure precise and effective treatment of the abscess. During the procedure, a small needle is inserted directly into the abscess to aspirate and drain any fluid. Only a local anesthetic is needed to minimize potential discomfort from the needle.

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MammoSite Catheter Placement for Brachytherapy

Radiation therapy is often recommended after breast-conserving cancer surgery such as lumpectomy to ensure that all traces of malignant tissue have been eradicated. MammoSite brachytherapy allows radiation to be delivered within the breast directly to the area where the tumor was removed, rather than requiring the entire breast to be exposed to external radiation. A radioactive seed is delivered to the area through a catheter, which can be placed in the breast during the lumpectomy or afterwards in the same location as the original incision so as not to create a second scar.

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Partial Mastectomy

A partial mastectomy removes cancerous tissue within the breast, while leaving healthy tissue intact for less invasive reconstructive needs. This procedure often removes a predetermined segment of the breast, more than the amount of tissue removed during a lumpectomy, to ensure complete removal of all cancerous tissue. Lymph nodes and chest muscle lining may also be removed during this procedure, which is performed under general anesthesia.

Partial mastectomy allows for effective removal of the cancerous area and a surrounding margin of normal tissue. Radiation therapy is usually administered after surgery to ensure complete removal. Since natural tissue remains in the breast after this procedure, patients remain at risk for recurrence and should continue to be screened on a regular basis for breast cancer.


A mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the breast in patients with breast cancer. This is one of the most commonly used and most effective treatment options for breast cancer, as it effectively removes all traces of cancer and reduces a patient's risk of recurrence.

Types of Mastectomy

There are several different mastectomy procedures designed to effectively treat the cancer with the least amount of damage to the breast and the patient's self-esteem. Some of the most commonly used techniques include:

  • Subcutaneous mastectomy - removes the entire breast but leaves the nipple and areola
  • Total mastectomy - removes breast tissue, nipple and areola
  • Modified radical mastectomy - removes entire breast, muscle lining and underlying lymph nodes
  • Radical mastectomy - removes underlying skin, lymph nodes and chest muscles
  • Preventive mastectomy - total mastectomy for patients with a high genetic risk of breast cancer

The best procedure for you depends on your individual condition, including the stage and severity of your cancer, your overall health and age, and whether or not lymph nodes are involved.

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Lymph Node Dissection

When breast cancer begins to spread, it first reaches the axillary lymph nodes under the arms. Axillary lymph node dissection can detect whether or not cancer has spread, may be performed at the same time as a breast or sentinel node biopsy, after a breast or sentinel node biopsy has produced positive results, or during a mastectomy. Under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision under the arm, removes a small amount of fat containing a cluster of lymph nodes, and closes the incision with sutures.

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Male Breast Reduction

Enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) affects nearly 40-60% of men, often with no known cause. This condition can be highly embarrassing as well as physically uncomfortable. Men who feel self-conscious about enlarged breasts may seek breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in some cases, excess skin as well. The result is a flatter, firmer chest.

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