Breast Cancer Surgery

Breast surgeons in Nashville

best surgeon dr john boskind TSC surgeon

Dr. John Boskind
General Surgeon

best general surgeons downtown nashville dr mark cooper with the surgical clinic

Dr. Mark Cooper
General Surgeon
Downtown Nashville

general surgeon at summit in nashville dr alex brent fruin

Dr. Alex Fruin
General Surgeon

Dr. Mark Hinson, general surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. Mark Hinson
General Surgeon

Dr. Chad Moss, MD, FACS general surgeon in Columbia, TN at The Surgical Clinic

Dr. Chad Moss
General Surgeon

dr tyson thomas general surgeon in nashville tn at the surgical clinic

Dr. Tyson Thomas
General Surgeon
St. Thomas West

general surgeon in herndersonville tn dr john valentine

Dr. John Valentine
General Surgeon

Breast Cancer Surgery

Discovering Hope: Your Guide to Breast Cancer Surgery and Breast Reconstruction in Nashville.

The Surgical Clinic offers a group of board certified general and breast surgeons who specialize in surgical oncology.

What is breast cancer surgery?

Breast cancer is a prevalent and challenging disease, affecting approximately 200,000 people each year. While it can be a daunting diagnosis, it’s crucial to remember that there are multiple treatment options available. Among these options, surgery stands as the primary and often life-saving choice. For those seeking breast cancer surgery and considering breast reconstruction, our Nashville team is here to provide you with the knowledge and support you need to make the best personal decisions for your health and well-being.

Breast Cancer Surgery Types

Breast cancer surgery aims to remove cancerous tissue from the breast. There are several types of surgical procedures used in the treatment of breast cancer. Here are some of the common ones:

Lumpectomy (Breast-conserving surgery)
Sentinel lymph node biopsy
Axillary lymph node dissection
Reconstructive surgery

Lumpectomy (Breast-conserving surgery) → In a lumpectomy, the surgeon removes only the tumor and a small margin of surrounding normal tissue. This allows the patient to keep most of their breast intact.
Lumpectomy is often followed by radiation therapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Mastectomy → Mastectomy involves the removal of the entire breast. There are different types of mastectomy, including:
Total mastectomy: Removal of the entire breast tissue, but the nipple and areola are preserved.
Modified radical mastectomy: Removal of the entire breast tissue along with the nipple and areola, as well as some of the underarm lymph nodes.
Radical mastectomy: This is rarely performed now. It involves removal of the breast, nipple, areola, and the underlying chest muscles. It’s typically reserved for cases where the cancer has spread extensively into the chest muscles.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy → During breast cancer surgery, nearby lymph nodes are often checked to see if cancer has spread beyond the breast. Sentinel lymph node biopsy involves the removal and examination of the lymph nodes most likely to contain cancer cells.
If cancer is found in these nodes, further lymph node surgery may be necessary to remove more nodes.

Axillary lymph node dissection → In cases where cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, an axillary lymph node dissection may be performed. This involves the removal of multiple lymph nodes from the armpit (axilla).
This procedure can sometimes cause side effects such as lymphedema, which is swelling in the arm due to fluid buildup.

Reconstructive surgeryAfter mastectomy, some women may choose to undergo breast reconstruction to restore the shape and appearance of the breast. This can be done using implants or by using tissue from other parts of the body.

The choice of surgery depends on various factors including the size and location of the tumor, the stage of cancer, the patient’s overall health, and their personal preferences. It’s important for patients to discuss the options thoroughly with their healthcare team to make an informed decision about their treatment plan.

Breast Cancer Surgery Options

What type of surgery do they do for breast cancer?

With a diagnosis of breast cancer, we know that you want both the best surgical options for getting rid of the disease and the best options for what you can do to heal. Many times women who have lost one or both breasts due to disease can elect to have breast reconstruction surgery. Sometimes the reconstruction and cosmetic surgery can begin at the same time as the diseased tissue is removed. In some cases, it may make the best sense to recover from the first surgery and deal with cosmetic surgery later.

Your approach to surgery will depend on a number of factors, including the stage of your cancer, the ‘personality’ of the cancer, and what you decide is best for your long-term peace of mind. At The Surgical Clinic, your physician and the entire surgical team are focused on supporting you with the most advanced approaches to Breast Cancer surgical techniques in the greater Nashville area.

At The Surgical Clinic in Tennessee, breast specialist cancer surgeons work collaboratively with reconstruction and cosmetic surgeons and you to make sure that you understand your options so that, together, you make the choices that are right for you.

How Urgent Is Breast Cancer Surgery?

As mentioned, breast cancer surgery is life-saving. According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Database, the five-year relative survival rate of people who undergo treatment across all stages of breast cancer is 91%.

It is important to note that the sooner the breast cancer surgery is performed, the better the chances of stopping the cancer from progressing. With that in mind, early detection and timely treatment are crucial to achieving a successful outcome. Waiting to undergo surgery can result in the cancer cells spreading to other parts of the body, making it more challenging to treat.

Can You Live a Normal Life After Breast Cancer Surgery?

It’s natural to wonder how your life will change after breast surgery. You might be concerned about how you’ll feel physically and emotionally and whether you’ll be able to resume your normal activities.


The good news is that for most women, life after breast surgery is very similar to life before surgery. With the right treatment plan and support, you can continue to enjoy your favorite activities, work, and maintain your relationships.

The journey begins with the vital step of diagnosing breast cancer. This typically involves various diagnostic procedures, including biopsies. A biopsy is a surgical procedure designed to extract small tissue samples from the specific areas of the breast or lymphatic system where suspicious abnormalities were detected, often through mammograms. These tissue samples are then meticulously analyzed in a laboratory to determine their nature and characteristics.

When you arrive at our Nashville clinic, you may discuss genetic testing with your healthcare team. This testing can provide valuable insights into whether you possess genetic markers associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Understanding your genetic makeup can influence treatment decisions and long-term health planning. Collectively, these diagnostic measures empower you, your doctors, and their dedicated teams to craft a tailored plan for breast cancer treatment and support.

The Role of Breast Cancer Surgery

This surgical approach aims to remove cancerous tissue from the breast, achieving the goal of “clean margins,” indicating that cancer cells have been successfully eradicated. The extent and type of surgery may vary depending on the characteristics and stage of your cancer.

Breast Cancer Surgery Types

  • Lumpectomy: In some cases, a smaller area of tissue containing the tumor is removed, preserving the breast as much as possible.
  • Mastectomy: For more extensive cancer or when deemed medically necessary, a mastectomy may be recommended. This procedure involves the removal of the entire breast.
  • Skin-Saving Mastectomy: In certain instances, techniques are employed to preserve as much natural breast skin as possible while removing breast tissue.
  • Nipple-Saving Mastectomy: For select patients, it is feasible to preserve the nipple and areola during the mastectomy, contributing to a more natural post-surgical appearance.

Your Team and Treatment Plan

Following a breast cancer diagnosis, you are not alone in your journey. A dedicated team of oncologists, breast cancer specialists, and healthcare professionals will collaborate to create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Typically, surgery represents the initial phase of your battle against breast cancer.

Our Breast Surgeons in Nashville, TN, are committed to providing compassionate and expert care to guide you through this challenging period. With a wealth of experience and expertise, our surgeons will work with you to determine the most appropriate surgical approach, ensuring the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances.

Breast cancer is a formidable adversary, but with the right team and treatment plan, you can face it with confidence. By prioritizing early detection, exploring your options, and accessing expert care, you can take a significant step toward a brighter and healthier future.

If you have questions or are ready to discuss your breast cancer diagnosis and potential surgical options, please reach out to our dedicated team today. Together, we can embark on your path to healing and hope.

What is breast reconstructive surgery?

Breast reconstruction enhances or restores the look, shape, and feel of the breasts after a mastectomy or breast cancer treatment surgery. Reconstructive surgery can happen the same day as a mastectomy or at a later date. Often, breast reconstruction helps women return to normalcy after breast cancer. Therefore, it can be an emotional and sensitive process that can feel overwhelming at times.

There are several types of breast reconstruction. Sometimes tissue is taken from your tummy, back, or buttocks to create a breast, sometimes an implant filled with saline or silicone gel may be used. There are procedures that will combine your body tissue with implants. Your reconstructive surgery will depend on your body, your lifestyle, and your preferences.


The board certified aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgeons in Nashville perform all types of breast cancer reconstructions, while several our breast surgeons specialize in the removal of breast cancer. Together, our network of surgeons work collaboratively to ensure each patient is treated with the most personalized care available today.

Breast implant surgery versus tissue based reconstruction

Which type of breast reconstruction surgery you choose is a personal choice. You may also opt for a mix of different reconstruction methods or reconstruction over a period of time. Talk with your surgeon about any concerns you have, and they will help you decide the best option.

What is implant based breast reconstruction?

Once the breast cancer is removed, patients may opt to have breast implants to replace the lost breast tissue. Breast implants restore shape and volume to the chest, and there are several options of implants to choose from. The surgeon will place the implant either over or under your chest muscle and cover it with your original breast skin or using a skin graft.

While breast implants are fairly popular choice, the procedure can also be done with a tissue reconstruction, where the surgeon uses both implants and a flap to reconstruct the breast.

What is tissue based breast reconstruction?

Tissue based breast reconstruction is often referred to as a ‘flap’ reconstruction. This is when the surgeon uses tissue from another area of the patient to reconstruct the breast. The surgeon will take skin, fat, and muscle from your belly or buttocks, which resemble breast tissue, to reconstruct the breast. Combining tissue based reconstruction and implants produces a more realistic result.

Some plastic surgeons, like Dr. Garza, specialize in a highly advanced tissue reconstruction known as DIEP flap surgery.

How long does it take to recover from Breast reconstruction surgery?

Recovery in the hospital typically lasts about 2-8 hours. Following breast reconstruction surgery, patients will require plenty of rest, limited movement, and bandages which help minimize movement of the breast area. Pain medication will be used as needed. A special surgical bra may be required for several weeks once the bandages are removed.

About one to two weeks after your surgery, your doctor will schedule a follow-up appointment to check in on your healing progress. They will look at your condition, inform you about test results, like negative margins, and map a plan for your next recovery steps. However, if you experience unexpected or extreme symptoms, contact your doctor to examine possible surgery complications.

Breast Reconstruction in Nashville, Tennessee

At The Surgical Clinic in Nashville, TN, most types and stages of breast cancer require breast reconstruction surgery as part of the treatment plan. We at The Surgical Clinic are committed to helping you find the best treatment option and type of breast reconstruction and guide you along every step of your treatment journey. For more information about our Middle Tennessee clinics and breast surgeons, watch the videos below and click on our surgeon profiles.

We have multiple skilled surgeons across the Middle Tennessee area. Find the one best suited for you and book an appointment today!

Watch Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Watch Patient Testimonial

Considering Breast Surgery in Nashville? Find Expert Care at The Surgical Clinic

Are you considering breast surgery to enhance your appearance, restore symmetry, or address medical concerns? At The Surgical Clinic, we understand that making the decision to undergo breast surgery is deeply personal, and we’re here to provide expert guidance and compassionate care every step of the way.

Why Choose The Surgical Clinic for Breast Surgery?

  • Expertise You Can Trust: Our board-certified surgeons at The Surgical Clinic are highly skilled and experienced in performing a wide range of breast surgeries, including breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift, breast reconstruction, and breast revision procedures. We are committed to delivering safe, effective results that meet your unique needs and goals.
  • Compassionate Care: We understand that undergoing breast surgery can be an emotional experience. That’s why at The Surgical Clinic, we provide compassionate, patient-centered care to ensure you feel supported and comfortable throughout your journey. Our team takes the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and address any anxieties you may have, so you can feel confident and empowered in your decision.
  • Customized Treatment Plans: At The Surgical Clinic, we recognize that every patient is unique, with different aesthetic goals, body proportions, and medical histories. That’s why we take a personalized approach to breast surgery, tailoring each treatment plan to the individual needs and preferences of our patients. Whether you’re seeking to enhance the size and shape of your breasts, improve symmetry, or reconstruct your breasts after mastectomy, we will work closely with you to develop a customized plan that achieves the results you desire.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: Your safety and comfort are our top priorities. At The Surgical Clinic, we operate in state-of-the-art facilities equipped with the latest advancements in surgical technology and patient care. Our modern facilities meet the highest standards of safety and hygiene, ensuring a positive surgical experience for every patient.

Transform Your Confidence, Transform Your Life

Breast surgery can have a profound impact on both your physical appearance and your self-confidence. Whether you’re seeking to enhance your natural contours, restore a more youthful appearance, or address medical concerns, the team at The Surgical Clinic is here to help you achieve your goals. Many of our patients experience increased confidence, improved body image, and a greater sense of self-esteem following breast surgery, leading to enhanced overall well-being and quality of life.

Take the First Step Towards a More Confident You

If you’re considering breast surgery and would like to learn more about your options, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced surgeons at The Surgical Clinic. During your consultation, we’ll take the time to discuss your goals, assess your anatomy, and develop a personalized treatment plan that aligns with your vision for your breasts. Contact us today to take the first step towards a more confident, beautiful you.

Don’t Wait—Invest in Yourself Today

Don’t let insecurities or concerns about your breasts hold you back from living life to the fullest. With breast surgery at The Surgical Clinic, you can achieve the look you desire and feel more confident and empowered in your own skin. Contact us today to learn more and begin your journey towards a more confident, beautiful you.

Learn More About Breast Cancer