Modified Radical Mastectomy

Removal of the entire breast tissue including the cancerous lump, portion of skin, nipple and areola that leads to a flat chest front with a horizontal scar. The procedure can be accompanied by a reconstructive procedure to give the shape of a breast mound.

What to expect in surgery

The surgery is performed under complete anesthesia (GA), and an elliptical incision in made on the breast which includes the nipple area. The entire breast tissue including the nipple and areola and some or all lymph nodes from the axilla (as per stage) will be removed. The skin edges will be sutured back to give a straight scar. The procedure takes 1.5-2 hours. The expected stay in hospital is 1-2 nights after surgery. Usually ICU stay is not needed.

You will be mobile and out of bed by next day. There will be small plastic tubes (called Drains) connected to a suction box to collect any fluid. These drains are kept for 10-14 days. You will be advised some physiotherapy and exercise to recover well. You will be asked to avoid heavy exertion or exercise/lifting for some time after the procedure.

The risks/ complications of procedure include bleeding, infection, arm swelling, fluid collection at surgery site (seroma), numbness in inner aspect of arm and risks arising from general anesthesia.

Modified Radical Mastectomy


  • Technically easy surgery to perform
  • Can be done if no desire for breast reconstruction
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Can be done at a smaller/ less equipped center
  • Cost
  • Radiation can be avoided in case of early stage tumor


  • Poor cosmetic results
  • Permanent breast loss
  • Insufficient if large area of skin needs to be removed.
  • Psycho-social impact on body image
  • If larger area of skin needs to be removed, a flap surgery needs to done

Subscribe Newsletter

Get all the information, latest updates, and articles delivered directly in your inbox

Book An Appointment