Studies show that women treated by breast surgeons for breast cancer have better outcomes. At the Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center Breast Care Center, our breast surgeons are the most experienced in the area.

Our breast surgeons will discuss your best surgical treatment option with you, as well as your personal concerns and preferences.

Types of Breast Cancer Surgeries

Lumpectomies (Breast Conserving Surgery). A lumpectomy is the removal of the affected breast tissue, as well as some tissue around the tumor, without damaging the rest of the breast. Your breast will be smaller after the surgery, but our plastic surgeons can use surgical techniques to restore the size and symmetry of your breast. Read an article from our health library about lumpectomy.

Mastectomy. A mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast. This type of breast cancer surgery may be recommended if you have more than one tumor, if the tumor is very large, or if you have a genetic risk of breast cancer, and have elected risk reduction surgery. The advances in plastic surgery have made it possible to have a mastectomy and restore the look of your breasts immediately (immediate reconstruction) or following breast cancer treatment (delayed breast reconstruction). Read an article from our health library about total mastectomy.

Mastectomy With or Without Reconstruction. During a mastectomy, your breast surgeon will remove the breast, but can perform several procedures to maintain the integrity of your breast tissue for an immediate, staged or delayed reconstruction. This includes nipple sparing mastectomies and skin sparing mastectomies, so that your own nipples or skin is used during the breast reconstruction. Learn more about reconstructive breast surgery.

Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping. The sentinel lymph node is the lymph node most likely to be affected by cancer cells travelling through the lymphatic system from the breast. Your breast surgeon can determine this sentinel lymph node by using a mapping procedure. Knowing which lymph nodes are affected can help determine how many to remove.

There are 2 ways to map the sentinel lymph node—using a radioisotope or blue dye. During the breast cancer surgery, your breast surgeon will follow the path of the radioisotope or blue dye into your lymph nodes and determine which ones are affected. If there is cancer found in the affected lymph nodes, your breast surgeon will probably perform a lymph node dissection, to remove any affected lymph nodes. Your breast surgeon will discuss the best breast surgery for you, as well as what you should expect for post-recovery.