15+ Mastectomy Nursing Care Plans


Mastectomy is the surgical removal of one or both breasts either partially or completely. A mastectomy is usually carried out to treat or prevent breast cancer. Surgical management for patients with breast cancer usually involves lumpectomy or mastectomy. In many cases, radiation therapy is combined with surgery.

Types of breast surgery include:

  • Total (simple) mastectomy – removal of breast tissue and nipple
  • Modified radical mastectomy – removal of the breast, most of the lymph nodes under the arm, and often the lining over the chest muscles
  • Lumpectomy – surgery to remove the tumor and a small amount of normal tissue around it

Nursing Care Plans

Providing perioperative nursing care for patients who are to undergo Mastectomy is an integral part of the therapeutic regimen. The nursing goal is to provide support, alleviating anxiety, managing pain, and providing information.

Here are 15+ nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for a patient undergoing Mastectomy:

  1. Fear/Anxiety
  2. Impaired Skin Integrity
  3. Acute Pain
  4. Situational Low Self-Esteem
  5. Impaired Physical Mobility
  6. Deficient Knowledge
  7. Risk for Injury
  8. Impaired Skin Integrity
  9. Activity Intolerance
  10. Risk for Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  11. Risk for Infection
  12. Ineffective Therapeutic Management
  13. Risk for Dysfunctional Grieving
  14. Ineffective Peripheral Tissue Perfusion
  15. Fear
  16. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans


Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Threat of death, e.g., extent of disease
  • Threat to self-concept: change of body image; scarring, loss of body part, sexual attractiveness
  • Change in health status

Possibly evidenced by

  • Increased tension; apprehension; feelings of helplessness/inadequacy
  • Decreased self-assurance
  • Self-focus; restlessness; sympathetic stimulation
  • Expressed concerns regarding actual/anticipated changes in life

Desired Outcomes

  • Client will acknowledge and discuss concerns.
  • Client will demonstrate appropriate range of feelings.
  • Client will report fear and anxiety are reduced to a manageable level.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Check out and explore what information the patient has about diagnosis, expected surgical intervention, and future therapies. Note presence of denial or extreme anxiety.Provides knowledge base for the nurse to enable the reinforcement of needed information, and helps identify patient with high anxiety, low capacity for information processing, and need for special attention. Note: Denial may be useful as a coping method for a time, but extreme anxiety needs to be dealt with immediately.
Ascertain purpose and preparation for diagnostic tests.More understanding of procedures and what is happening increases feelings of control and lessens anxiety.
Implement an ambiance of concern, openness, and availability, as well as privacy for patient and SO. Suggest that SO be present as much as possible.Time and privacy are needed to provide support, discuss feelings of anticipated loss and other concerns. Therapeutic communication skills, open questions, listening, and so forth facilitate this process.
Encourage questions and provide time for expression of fears. Tell patient that stress related to breast cancer can persist for many months and to seek help and support.Provides an opportunity to identify and clarify misconceptions and offer emotional support.
Determine the degree of support available to the patient. Give information about community resources, such as Reach to Recovery, YWCA Encore program. Encourage and provide for a visit with a woman who has recovered from a mastectomy.Can be a helpful resource when patient is ready. A peer who has experienced the same process serves as a role model and can provide validity to the comments, hope for recovery and normal future.
Consider role of rehabilitation after surgery.Rehabilitation is an essential component of therapy intended to meet physical, social, emotional, and vocational needs so that the patient can achieve the best possible level of physical and emotional functioning.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other care plans and nursing diagnoses related to reproductive and urinary system disorders:


Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
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