Breast Cancer Treatment and Surgery

Our Approach to Treatment

Houston Methodist’s surgical oncologists and plastic surgeons routinely collaborate and develop plans to remove cancerous tissue while reconstructing patients’ breasts to appear as if they haven’t been operated on. Our highly skilled doctors are experts in nipple-sparing mastectomies and perform them whenever possible, including on patients who have been told by doctors elsewhere they are not candidates for the procedure.

The nipple-sparing mastectomy is a “game changer,” our surgeons say, because it is safe, effective and cosmetically appealing for patients. The procedure can save patients’ lives and leave them feeling good about themselves, feeling whole.

Our breast surgical oncologists of Houston Methodist Surgical Associates and our plastic surgeons at Houston Methodist Institute of Reconstructive Surgery have studied and perfected surgical techniques, including nipple-sparing mastectomy, to maintain breast sensation, which is important to many patients.

Patients choose Houston Methodist for our innovation and expertise in breast cancer surgery.

Treatments and Procedures
  • Breast cancer surgery – removal of cancerous tissue, and possibly lymph nodes and muscle, from the breast and breast area, including:
    • Mastectomy – breast tissue removal:
    • Total mastectomy – removal of breast tissue, nipple, areola, skin and at least one lymph node for biopsy
    • Modified radical mastectomy – removal of breast tissue, nipple, areola and some lymph node
    • Radical mastectomy – removal of breast, lymph node and chest wall muscle
    • Partial mastectomy – removal of the cancerous part of the breast tissue, as well as some normal tissue
    • Nipple-sparing mastectomy – removal of all breast tissue, sparing the nipple
    • Skin-sparing mastectomy – removal of inner breast tissue, the nipple and areola, but the skin is spared
    • Lumpectomy – removal of the tumor and a limited amount of surrounding tissue. It is a form of partial mastectomy, but more healthy tissue is preserved
  • Radioactive seed localization (RSL) – a tiny, radioactive seed is implanted before surgery to help surgeons find abnormal breast tissue seen on mammograms, ultrasounds or MRIs that otherwise would not be felt or seen during surgery. Surgeons remove the seed along with abnormal breast tissue during surgery, sparing healthy tissue
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy