Simple mastectomy

A mastectomy is an operation to remove a breast, and is an effective treatment for breast cancer. There are different types of mastectomy. During a simple mastectomy, your surgeon will remove all of the breast and most of the skin covering it, while preserving the surrounding chest muscles and lymph nodes. The aim is to remove any cancerous tissues, preventing the cancer from returning or spreading.  

Who is suitable for a simple mastectomy?

Your breast consultant may recommend a simple (or total) mastectomy if: 

  • cancer is found in a large area of your breast; 
  • cancer has spread throughout the breast; or 
  • your breast is full of pre-cancerous cells. 

Some women at high risk of breast cancer may choose to have a mastectomy to prevent cancer. 

If you are diagnosed with a cancer in its early stages, you may choose to have breast-conserving surgery with radiotherapy. Your consultant will discuss your different treatment options with you. 

What does a simple mastectomy involve? ​

A simple mastectomy usually takes about 90 minutes. During the operation, you will be under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will completely remove the breast and the overlying skin, including the nipple and surrounding areola. They will aim to leave the chest muscles beneath the breast, and the lymph nodes under the armpits. Sometimes breast reconstruction surgery is done at the same time.  

What can you do to prepare for a simple mastectomy?

Ahead of your operation, your breast consultant will discuss your treatment options, the advantages and disadvantages of a simple mastectomy, and your options for breast reconstruction. They will also talk to you about your recovery, and the possible physical and emotional effects of this type of surgery.  

What is the recovery period?

Depending on the nature of your simple mastectomy, you may be able to return home the same day. For a more extensive operation, you will need to be cared for in hospital for up to two nights. When you are ready to return home, your consultant or nurse will let you know how to manage your recovery. Typically, it takes three to six weeks before you can return to your normal activities, including work.  

Self-pay package

As well as working with all major insurance companies, we also welcome patients who wish to pay for themselves.

Below is an outline of our self-pay hospital package which includes tests, hospital stay and procedure. Please note: it does not include consultant fees, which may vary.   

Hospital package from £3,310 (day case), £3,970 (one night), £4,950 (two nights) 

Indicative consultant fees from £525 

  • Standard pre-admission tests, including electrocardiogram (ECG) and chest X-ray 
  • Accommodation in a private en-suite room for up to two nights  
  • All meals  
  • Nursing 
  • Ward medications and dressings 
  • Theatre procedure and anesthetics 
  • Inpatient physiotherapy, if needed, and surgical stockings 
  • Post-op and discharge medication 
  • Consultant consultation fee  
  • Consultant procedure fee  
  • Anesthetist fee 
  • Non-standard diagnostic and histology tests 


Our consultants

See a list of all the consultants available here at Cromwell Hospital.

Why choose Cromwell Hospital?

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Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via email or telephone