Mastectomy in South Korea

The surgical procedure to remove all the breast tissues from a person’s breast partially or completely in order to prevent or treat breast cancer is known as Mastectomy. 

Usually, there are two ways to cure breast cancer, the first one is Mastectomy could be one option for treating breast cancer for people who are still in the early stages of it. The second option is Lumpectomy or Breast-Conserving surgery in which only the tumor gets removed instead of removing the complete breast.

Deciding between the two namely mastectomy and lumpectomy is a difficult decision. Because both the methods are almost equally effective in preventing the recurrence of breast cancer. The latest techniques of mastectomy are able to preserve the skin of the breast that enables the appearance of the breast to be more natural after the procedure. This type of mastectomy is also called skin-sparing mastectomy. 

Why is it required?

 The mastectomy could be the treatment option concerning several kinds of breast cancer, such as: 

  • Stages I or II (early-stage) breast cancer
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), or the noninvasive type of breast cancer
  • Stage III (considered locally advanced) of the breast cancer — post-chemotherapy
  • Paget's disease of the breast
  • Inflammatory breast cancer — post-chemotherapy
  • Locally recurrent breast cancer

Ideal Candidate for Mastectomy

People with the following conditions are the ideal candidate.

  • Have several tumors(at least 2) in different parts of the breast.
  • Presence of widespread microcalcifications
  • Recurrence of breast cancer
  • Possess a gene mutation so prone to developing another cancer.
  • Presence of disease such as scleroderma, lupus, etc hence cannot tolerate radiation’s side effects.

Factors affecting the cost of Mastectomy

Factors affecting the mastectomy cost include:

  • Country
  • Type of mastectomy, 
  • Need, the number of chemotherapy and RT cycles, 
  • Medication, 
  • Life long care, 
  • The cost of accommodation, 
  • Food, travel, etc.
Treatment and Cost

10

Total Days
In Country

2 No. Travelers

5 Day in Hospital

5 Days Outside Hospital

Treatment cost starts from

USD 9500

Hospitals

About the Mastectomy

Mastectomy refers to the partial or complete surgical removal of one or both the breasts. This surgery is most often indicated for breast cancer.

A lump in the breast or armpits is one of the earliest signs of breast cancer. It can cause a change in the shape, size, or color of the breast or nipple. Nipple tenderness, inward folding of the nipple, discharge from the nipple, and orange peel appearance of the skin of the breast are the other signs of breast cancer. Patients who observe any of the above-mentioned signs must see their physician immediately.

Who are advised to undergo breast cancer mastectomy?

Your physician may recommend you to undergo a partial or full mastectomy in the following conditions:

  • If you have a massive malignant tumor in the breast or invasive ductal carcinoma
  • If you have had a recurrent breast cancer after initial lumpectomy
  • If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with breast cancer and radiation therapy is contraindicated
  • If you have a medical history of scleroderma and have been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • If you are diagnosed with breast cancer and have a lump in the armpits

Additionally, if you have a family history of breast cancer or deleterious mutation of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, you are advised preventive mastectomy.

How is Mastectomy performed?

Pre-surgical steps

  • Securing an intravenous line
  • Oral administration of sedative drugs to facilitate placement of a breathing tube
  • Placement of breathing tube
  • Administration of general anesthesia
  • Disinfecting the surgical site

Surgical Procedure

Three types of mastectomy surgeries can be performed in the patients, depending on the extent of the tumor as determined by the CT scan and mammography reports.

Simple mastectomy

This type of mastectomy is carried out when the tumor is small and the surrounding lymph nodes are not infiltrated by the tumor cells. When mastectomy is conducted on both the breast, it is known as double mastectomy. This is also used in cases of invasive ductal carcinoma.

 Step 1: Surgical incision at the site of tumor in the breast or breasts or invasive ductal carcinoma (in the case of double mastectomy)

Step 2: Retraction of the intervening tissue

Step 3: Resection of a tumor along with some normal tissue

Step 4: Establishment of drainage

Step 5: Surgical closure of the wound

Modified radical mastectomy:

This procedure is performed when the tumor is large and involves a few lymph nodes.

Step 1: Surgical incision across the nipple

Step 2: Retraction of the intervening tissue

Step 3: Resection of the tumor along with some normal tissue

Step 4: Resection of lymph nodes into which the tumor cells drain (sentinel biopsy)

Step 5: Establishment of drainage

Step 6: Surgical closure of the wound

Radical mastectomy:

This procedure is carried out when the tumor is extensive and involves all the lymph nodes and muscles of the breast.

Step 1: Surgical incision across the breast

Step 2: Retraction of the breast tissue

Step 3: Resection of a tumor, muscle and connective tissue of the breast

Step 4: Resection of all the lymph nodes of that side of the body

Step 5: Establishment of drainage

Step 6: Surgical closure of the wound

Apart from the above three procedures, there is lumpectomy (removal of just the lump along with some of the surrounding tissue) and subcutaneous mastectomy (nipple and skin tissue are not removed).

Recovery from Mastectomy

As the anesthetic effect starts to wear off, you may start experiencing pain. Analgesics are administered through an intravenous line for the first two days after the anesthetic effect wears-off. In the case of a simple breast cancer mastectomy, the drainage tubes are removed in the immediate post-operative period. They are retained for two days if you undergo a radical mastectomy. Any signs of inflammation or redness should be immediately reported, as it may indicate infection.

Initially, clear fluid diet is given during the recovery period and then this is slowly progressed to solid food. You should take sponge baths until the incision heals to prevent the occurrence of an infection.  You may keep the arms elevated to prevent the accumulation of fluid in the breast cavity. The hospital stay for radical mastectomy is one to two days. The complete recovery may take up to six weeks.

Patient Stories

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the health care infrastructure of South Korea / Why should opt for South Korea as a destination for your medical treatment?
South Korea is recognized for its strict rules and regulations which have kept the country in strict discipline. As an upside, the country has well-maintained regulations for every process and impressive medical healthcare facilities which have garnered thousands of visitors from across the world. The reason for opting for hospitals in South Korea is the astounding treatment options available at a very cost-effective price range, which is undoubtedly more affordable than most of the developed countries across the world. Besides the well-planned infrastructure, the treatment in South Korea and the alternatives offered are tempting enough. Apart from that, the country also flaunts high success rates and has thus been able to cure some of the most complex diseases in the world.
What are the conditions of the hospitals in South Korea? Are they JCI certified? What is the quality of the support staff in the hospitals?
The Joint Commission International (JCI) is a global leader in health care accreditation. JCI accreditation is considered a gold standard in worldwide health care. It provides the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals in the medical industry, as evaluators of the rigorous international standards in healthcare quality and patient safety. YUHS Severance Hospital + Gangnam Severance Hospital is a JCI certified hospital in South Korea.
Are the doctors/surgeons in South Korea of the best quality?
The doctors and surgeons providing treatments in South Korea are globally recognized for their service in the medical field. Furnished with degrees from reputed universities and decades of training and experience, the doctors have earned high success rates throughout their professional careers. The doctors have to undergo rigorous training to keep up with the strict protocol and measures of hospitals in South Korea. Hence, quality is maintained.
What is the process for obtaining a medical visa in South Korea?
The Korean embassy follows a strict protocol for obtaining a visa for traveling to the country. The necessary documents (photocopies and original) have been listed on their official website and should be strictly adhered to. The candidate also has to produce necessary papers stating the medical cause and referral certificate signed by the registered medical practitioner. Although these need to be taken care of by the candidate, the rest of the procedures and further visa assistance is managed by the sponsors in most cases. A Medical Dependent Visa is granted to those who are accompanying a patient traveling to Sount Korea for medical treatment on a Medical Visa. This visa can be given to a close relative/family member or a friend of the patient. Please note that relevant letters/documents explaining details of the treatment, signed and stamped by the concerned hospitals/doctors, a declaration from the patient or an immediate family member is also required confirming the escort travel along with the patient.
What support services does MediGence provide in South Korea?
MediGence enables you to plan and manage your medical decisions better. These are some of our services offered:
  • Expert Opinion
    We help you seek an Expert Opinion on your diagnosis and treatment from an experienced team of doctors at MediGence and specialists from a reputable hospital.
  • Hospital Recommendation
    We recommend a hospital or a healthcare institution that is best suited for you, based on your ailment and its criticality.
  • 360-degree Hospital Review
    We give you a transparent and holistic view of the hospital and its infrastructure, accreditation, facilities, and expertise to give you confidence.
  • Doctor Validation and Communication
    We share a comprehensive profile of the treating doctor and also arrange a call to clear queries regarding treatment if needed.
  • Options to Choose From
    Based on your choice of destination and other preferences, we provide you multiple options with respect to hospitals and doctors to choose from.
  • 24X7 Patient Care Support
    A dedicated patient case manager stays in constant touch with you to help you at every step of the decision-making process and resolve queries that you may have.
  • Transparent Treatment Cost and Other Expenses
    We give a clear and accurate indication of the total cost of treatment including treatment, stay, meals, and other expenses.
  • Visa Assistance
    We provide and help prepare documentation for visa approval and coordinate with the embassy to expedite the visa process.
  • Accommodation Arrangements
    We propose to you a choice of accommodation based on your preference such as long stay, short stay, or luxury properties.
Which are the best cities in South Korea for medical treatment?
Treatment in South Korea is affordable. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and one of the main cities for healthcare. Seoul and Daegu have some of the best hospitals in South Korea. Busan, Incheon, and Ulsan also have developing healthcare facilities.

Our team of healthcare experts would be happy to assist you

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