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Understanding the Different Types of Breast Surgeries

Understanding the Different Types of Breast Surgeries

Each year, more than 330,000 women receive a breast cancer diagnosis. It’s the second most common type of cancer affecting women, and there are several different types of breast cancer. Some types are more invasive than others.

Regular mammograms are one of the best ways to identify breast cancer. But if your mammogram results are abnormal or you find yourself facing a breast cancer diagnosis, your doctor might start talking about breast surgery.

Breast surgery is one of the most effective treatments for breast cancer and other health conditions affecting the breasts. Elvira Klause, MD, FACS, is a leading oncology surgeon in San Clemente, California, with over 15 years of surgical experience. She brings expertise and a personal touch to breast surgery.

Common types of breast surgery

Dr. Klause and our surgical team specialize in a few of the most common types of breast surgery, and we’ve performed thousands of procedures.

Breast biopsy

A biopsy is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure. If Dr. Klause recommends a biopsy, it doesn’t mean that you have breast cancer, but it does mean that she needs additional information to reach a diagnosis.

You may need a biopsy if you have a lump in your breast or you had a mammogram with abnormal results. Dr. Klause performs needle biopsies and surgical biopsies, and both involve taking a sample of cells from your breast for further examination.

Once your biopsy is complete, Dr. Klause analyzes the tissue sample to look for signs of cancer. If she identifies cancerous growth, you may need one of two breast surgeries to treat it: lumpectomy or mastectomy.


Lumpectomy is a type of surgery to treat breast cancer while preserving your natural breast. In a lumpectomy, Dr. Klause removes cancerous or abnormal breast tissue and a certain amount of the healthy tissue around it.

Lumpectomy is often performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day. Getting a lumpectomy can help lower your risk of cancer complications, but you may need radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment following lumpectomy. 


Mastectomy is surgery to remove one or both breasts. It’s a good option for some women with breast cancer, especially if there’s a higher risk of cancer spreading to other areas of the body. 

Dr. Klause may also recommend mastectomy for women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or rare types of breast cancer, like Paget’s disease of the breast.

Removing all your breast tissue helps keep cancer from spreading, but mastectomy is major surgery. You can expect to spend at least one day in the hospital after mastectomy, and your stay may be longer if you choose breast reconstruction along with mastectomy.

Finding out that you need breast surgery can be scary. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Klause to learn more about what your diagnosis could mean and what your options are. Call our San Clemente, California, office at 949-393-2595 or request an appointment online now.

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