Breast Cancer Surgery

Surgery offers the greatest chance for cure for breast cancer

Surgery is typically where you will start your breast cancer journey. Our highly skilled breast surgeons listen to you and form a personalized treatment plan. You have a lot to take care of in your life, let us take care of you.

Focused Expertise from Breast Surgeons

If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, our highly skilled breast cancer surgeons at IU Health Cancer Centers, Indiana's most preferred name in cancer care, offer unmatched expertise in the treatment of breast cancer.

With access to the most resources in the state, our complete team of breast cancer specialists evaluate the unique makeup of your cancer to develop the best treatment plan for you. And through the partnership with the IU School of Medicine, you’ll have access to advanced treatment options that others don’t, making sure you get the right care today so you can take care of those that matter most.

Because our physicians specialize in breast cancer, we have the expertise to treat our patients from diagnosis to treatment and through survivorship. At the most trusted cancer center in Indiana, our team treats breast cancers that are non-complex, rare and aggressive and everything in between. With our surgical expertise, we can offer treatment for tumors that are sometimes considered too difficult to treat.

Watch: Planning for Surgery

Your Surgical Options

There are many factors that your breast surgeon will take into account before recommending the type of surgical procedure you may need during breast cancer treatment.

When reviewing breast surgery as part of your treatment plan, it is important to ask your surgical team any questions before deciding which option is best for you.

Every patient and breast cancer are different, and the physicians at IU Health spend the time to understand you as a person and not a diagnosis. Our highly skilled surgeons are all Hidden Scar certified in breast cancer surgery—both in lumpectomy and mastectomy. Find a breast surgeon that is Hidden Scar certified.

Lumpectomy

A lumpectomy, or breast conserving surgery, is completed for women who have smaller tumors. It is often done through a tiny incision (a surgical cut) to preserve the shape of the breast. Radiation treatment usually follows a lumpectomy.

Hidden Scar Lumpectomy

Patients having a Hidden Scar Lumpectomy will have the incision placed in one of three hidden locations so you won't have a visible scar. The majority of the breast tissue, breast skin and nipple are preserved.

Incision Locations:

  1. Periareolar: Along the edges of the areola
  2. Axilla: In the armpit, usually hidden in a natural fold
  3. Inframammary fold: the natural crease underneath the breast

Mastectomy

For women who require a mastectomy, your IU Health Cancer Centers breast surgeon will determine which option is best suited for your tumor.

You may receive a simple or total mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy or subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy.

Our breast surgeons use advanced techniques to regain as natural shape as possible. This includes Hidden Scar Nipple Sparing Mastectomy, where all of the breast tissue is removed, but the nipple and skin are not.

At IU Health, we use advanced techniques to reconstruct the breast to regain as natural a shape as possible. Many women have breast reconstruction to rebuild the breast after a mastectomy.

If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, schedule an appointment today with one of our highly skilled breast surgeons who will help you understand what may come next.

Find a Breast Surgeon

Watch: IU Health Breast Reconstruction Options

Breast reconstruction is an important decision in the journey. There are several reconstructive options available to you including, reconstruction performed during tumor removal, or a having a second surgery for reconstruction.

Our team of plastic surgeons specializes in breast surgery with an advanced understanding in performing surgical techniques and procedures specific to the breast and surrounding lymph nodes.

Breast Reconstruction

Watch: IU Health Breast Reconstruction Options

Breast reconstruction is an important decision in the journey. There are several reconstructive options available to you including, reconstruction performed during tumor removal, or a having a second surgery for reconstruction.

Our team of plastic surgeons specializes in breast surgery with an advanced understanding in performing surgical techniques and procedures specific to the breast and surrounding lymph nodes.

Questions About the Surgeon

  • Are you board certified?
  • Do you specialize in a type of surgery?
  • How many similar operations have you performed?
  • How many breast cancer surgeries have you done?

Questions About Surgery

  • What type of breast surgery is best for me?
  • Will I need additional treatment before or after my surgery?
  • Should my healthy breast be removed at the same time?
  • How many operations will I need?
  • What are my options for reconstruction?
  • Can the reconstruction be started at the same time as my cancer surgery?
  • How will my breast look after surgery?
  • Will my breasts look the same?
  • Can you show me pictures of other people that have undergone these procedures?
  • If I choose to forgo reconstruction, what will my breast look like?
  • Is surgery safe for me?
  • If you had a family member in my situation, what would you recommend?

Questions About Recovery

  • How much time will I spend in the hospital?
  • How much time will I need for recovery?
  • When can I return to work?

Questions to Ask Your Breast Cancer Surgeon

Questions About the Surgeon

  • Are you board certified?
  • Do you specialize in a type of surgery?
  • How many similar operations have you performed?
  • How many breast cancer surgeries have you done?

Questions About Surgery

  • What type of breast surgery is best for me?
  • Will I need additional treatment before or after my surgery?
  • Should my healthy breast be removed at the same time?
  • How many operations will I need?
  • What are my options for reconstruction?
  • Can the reconstruction be started at the same time as my cancer surgery?
  • How will my breast look after surgery?
  • Will my breasts look the same?
  • Can you show me pictures of other people that have undergone these procedures?
  • If I choose to forgo reconstruction, what will my breast look like?
  • Is surgery safe for me?
  • If you had a family member in my situation, what would you recommend?

Questions About Recovery

  • How much time will I spend in the hospital?
  • How much time will I need for recovery?
  • When can I return to work?

Patient Stories for Breast Cancer Surgery

Video Resources

Learn more about clinical trials, hormone therapy and proper nutrition during treatment with these videos.

Nutrition During Cancer Treatment
What to Know About Hormone Therapy
Breast Cancer Clinical Trials