An overview of common terms associated with mastectomies.

14 10 02 mastectomy

It can be as hard to understand medical terms as it is to read a doctor’s script. October is breast cancer awareness month, and you'll be hearing about and reading about these terms more often in the coming weeks:

Mastectomy:
The surgical removal of part or all of the breast tissue.

Reconstruction:
A surgical procedure in which the breast mound is recreated using either tissue expanders and implants or the patient’s own tissue. Learn more about this procedure here.

Areola reconstruction:
The areola is the dark area surrounding the nipple. There are multiple places to reconstruct the nipple areolar complex. This can include skin grafts and/or tattoos. Generally, this is performed in a matter of months after the reconstruction of the breast mound and is rarely performed at the time of mastectomy.