Mastectomy is surgery that removes all tissue from a diseased breast. Surgeons use it for breast cancer treatment and prevention. They may treat women with early-stage breast cancer through lumpectomy; this removes a tumor but not all the breast tissue. Both surgical procedures are effective treatments for breast cancer, but lumpectomy is not an option for everyone. Advanced cancers usually require removal of the entire breast.
Modern mastectomy techniques preserve some of the breast skin to give women a more natural post-surgery appearance. Reconstruction surgery restores the breast shape. Some surgeons combine the two procedures. Globally-accredited hospitals provide low-cost mastectomy and reconstruction surgery to international patients. A growing number of travel destinations have the infrastructure, medical teams and reputations in place to make overseas mastectomy procedures appealing to many women.