Throughout Hollywood and Los Angeles County, news of Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy has taken the celebrity community and pop culture world by storm. It’s brought this breast surgery into a new light, and Jolie’s choice has many women considering their own options when it comes to preventing and treating breast cancer. Dr. Elijah Mobley, an expert general surgeon who performs this operation on Glendora patients, notes that women should understand what this procedure is, why it is performed and what their own personal risk factors are before making a final decision with their health care provider.
What is a Mastectomy?
A mastectomy is a surgical operation where the entire breast, the skin on top of the breast, the nipple and the areola are removed from a woman’s body. The operation is performed under general anesthesia, and can take anywhere from two to three hours to complete.
Women should note that there are several types of mastectomy procedures. The size of the tumor, the number of tumors in the breast and the woman’s personal health risks for breast cancer will help her health care provider determine which mastectomy procedure is best for her. In some cases, the breast tissue, nipple and areola are removed. In more severe cases, some lymph nodes in the under arm area will be removed in case the cancer has spread. A radical mastectomy removes the breast tissue, nipple, areola and all of the lymph nodes in the under arm and on the chest. Dr. Mobley rarely performs this operation.
Women who are at a high risk for breast cancer may opt to have a prophylactic mastectomy, or a preventative procedure. Women should discuss this option not only with their surgeon and a genetic counselor, but also with their close friends, relatives and confidants. It’s an important decision and one that should be made carefully.
Depending on a woman’s preferences, the breast or breasts can be reconstructed after a mastectomy procedure. In many cases, the reconstructive surgery can take place immediately after the mastectomy during the same operation.
Mastectomy is most commonly used to treat breast cancer. In many cases, this operation is required because a tumor in the breast is too large to remove without deforming the entire breast or if there are too many tumors in the breast. Dr. Mobley will work with each breast cancer patient to determine whether mastectomy is the right choice for her. Factors that he will consider along with the patient include her age, the size of her breasts, the severity of her cancer, her family history and her current stage in her reproductive life cycle.
It can be difficult for women to make the decision to have a mastectomy procedure performed, but any woman suffering from breast cancer in Glendora or Los Angeles County can trust Dr. Mobley to help them make the right decision. His caring bedside manner and personable nature has been relied upon by women for years as they face this trying decision. For more information, set up a consultation appointment today.