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

  • Fear

Fear is a strong and unpleasant emotion caused by the awareness or anticipation of pain or danger. This emotion is primarily externally motivated and source-specific, that is the individual experiencing the fear can identify the person, place or thing precipitating this feeling. The factors that precipitate fear are, to some extent, universal, fear of death, pair and bodily injury or defect are common to most people.


Patient may manifest: 

  • Tachypnea
  • Tachycardia
  • Denial
  • Fright
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Narrowed focus
  • Insomnia
  • Crying

Desired Outcomes

  • Client will demonstrate understanding through the use of effective coping behaviors and resources.
  • Client will display appropriate range of feelings and lessened fear.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Determine what the patient is fearful of by careful and thoughtful questioningA patient who finds it unacceptable to express fear may find it helpful to know that someone is willing to listen if they decide to share their feelings at sometimes in the future.
Compare verbal and nonverbal responsesTo note congruences or misperceptions of the situation.
Assess the degree of fear and the measures the patient uses to cope with that fearThis helps determine the effectiveness of coping strategies used by the pt.
Document behavioral and verbal expressions of fearPhysiologic symptoms and complaints will intensify as the level of fear increases.
Determine to what degree the patient’s fears may be affecting his/her ability to perform ADLPersistent, immobilizing fears may require treatment with anti-anxiety medications.
Maintain a calm and tolerant manner while interacting with the patientThe patient’s feeling of stability increases in a calm and non-threatening atmosphere and ongoing relationship establishes trust and a basis for communicating fearful feelings.
Establish a working relationship through continuity of careIf the home environment is unsafe, the patient’s fears are not resolved and fear may become disabling.
Provide safety measure within the home when indicatedRecognition and explanation of factors leading to fear are significant in developing alternative responses.
As patient fear subsides, encourage him/her to explore specific events preceding the onset of fearRest improves the ability to cope.
Exercises in relaxation, meditation, or guided imageryExercise reduces the physiological response to fear

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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