Mayo Clinic's approach

Mayo Clinic's highly trained breast cancer surgeons work in coordinated surgical teams using the latest advances to care for people with breast cancer and those with a high risk of developing the disease in the future.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

People with breast cancer who choose Mayo Clinic for breast cancer surgery will find highly experienced surgeons who provide expert care. Breast cancer surgeons work closely with other specialists to create a personalized treatment approach that provides you with whole-person care.

Your care team might include:

Your appointments will be coordinated so that you can carefully consider your options and meet with a variety of specialists, often in a matter of days. If you choose surgery as your initial treatment, your operation is scheduled promptly, when possible, to avoid long wait times.

Expert care by world-class surgeons

Mayo Clinic breast cancer surgeons are highly trained and experienced:

  • More than 9,500 people seek breast cancer care each year
  • Nearly 1,500 people undergo breast cancer surgery each year

Research shows that people who are treated for breast cancer at medical centers that treat many cases of breast cancer have better outcomes than do people treated at medical centers that treat breast cancer less frequently.

Breast cancer surgeons draw on their extensive training to use the latest surgical techniques to provide expert care for:

Advanced surgical techniques

Mayo Clinic breast cancer surgeons are trained in the latest operations and technology used to perform lumpectomy and mastectomy, including:

  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy for cancer prevention and cancer treatment
  • Breast imaging during surgery to ensure the viability of skin used to reconstruct the breast and reduce the risk of skin complications (intraoperative breast angiography)
  • Evaluating breast tumors during surgery using techniques such as intraoperative pathology and frozen section analysis to ensure all the cancer is removed and reduce the need for additional surgery
  • Immediate breast reconstruction using operative techniques such as immediate implant reconstruction (sometimes called breast-in-a-day surgery), when appropriate, and reconstruction using excess breast skin and fatty tissue (sometimes called a Goldilocks mastectomy) or total fat grafting
  • All types of breast reconstruction using implants and your own tissue (flap surgery), including technically demanding, microsurgical procedures that spare your muscle tissue such as deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap surgery

Innovations in breast cancer surgery

Mayo Clinic surgeons are improving the outcomes of breast cancer surgery by creating treatments that are:

  • Reducing the time involved in treatment so you can return to daily life sooner with techniques such as immediate breast reconstruction that combines mastectomy and reconstruction in one procedure, and lumpectomy with accelerated partial breast irradiation to complete surgery and radiation therapy in less than 10 days.
  • Improving your confidence in your appearance by combining the best techniques for cancer control with approaches that maximize the natural appearance of your breasts (oncoplastic sugery), such as lumpectomy procedures that include breast lift and breast reduction
  • Controlling pain after mastectomy to reduce the need for strong pain drugs by providing non-narcotic medications before surgery, placing long-acting anesthetic in the surgical site, and using massage and other integrative medicine techniques during recovery
  • Reducing the risk of lymphedema by devising effective chemotherapy and hormone therapy regimens that can be used before surgery (neoadjuvant therapy) to reduce the need for lymph node dissection, routinely using sentinel node biopsy to test whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and identifying the nodes vital to lymph drainage in the arms (axillary lymph node mapping)

Mayo Clinic breast surgeons are leaders in breast cancer and breast surgery research. This allows patients to receive the latest in treatment advances.

Mayo Clinic breast surgeons are studying ways to improve cancer control and reduce complications of surgery in clinical trials.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic breast cancer surgeons are widely respected for their experience and knowledge in advanced surgical techniques that improve cancer control and reduce the complications of breast cancer surgery.

Nationally recognized expertise

Outside organizations recognize Mayo Clinic breast cancer specialists through accreditations, grants and rankings:

  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Mayo Clinic is accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer and multiple campuses are accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
  • Mayo Clinic is one of a select group of medical centers in the United States to be recognized as a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) for breast cancer research, funded by the National Cancer Institute. To earn a highly competitive SPORE grant, institutions must demonstrate a high degree of collaboration between first-rate scientists and clinicians and show excellence in translational research projects.
  • Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers participate in research cooperatives, such as the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, which gives people with cancer access to the latest clinical trials.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.