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

Acute Pain

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Surgical procedure; tissue trauma, interruption of nerves, dissection of muscles

Possibly evidenced by

  • Reports of stiffness, numbness in chest area, shoulder/arm pain; alteration of muscle tone
  • Self-focusing; distraction/guarding behaviors

Desired Outcomes

  • Client will express a reduction in pain/discomfort.
  • Client will appear relaxed, able to sleep/rest appropriately.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Consider reports of pain and stiffness, noting location, duration, and intensity (0–10 scale). Note reports of numbness and swelling. Be aware of verbal and nonverbal cues.Aids in identifying the degree of discomfort and effectiveness of analgesia. The amount of tissue, muscle, and lymphatic system removed can affect the amount of pain experienced. Destruction of nerves in the axillary region causes numbness in upper arm and scapular region, which may be more intolerable than surgical pain. Note: Pain in chest wall can occur from muscle tension, be affected by extremes in heat and cold, and continue for several months.
Discuss the normality of phantom breast sensations.Provides reassurance that sensations are not imaginary and that relief can be obtained.
Facilitate patient to find position of comfort.Elevation of arm, size of dressings, and presence of drains affect patient’s ability to relax, rest and sleep effectively.
Provide basic comfort measures (reposition on back or unaffected side, back rub) and diversional activities. Encourage early ambulation and use of relaxation techniques, guided imagery, Therapeutic Touch.Promotes relaxation, helps refocus attention, and may enhance coping abilities.
Splint or support chest during coughing and deep-breathing exercises.Facilitates participation in activity without undue discomfort.
Carry out appropriate pain medication on a regular schedule before pain is severe and before activities are scheduled.Maintains comfort level and permits patient to exercise arm and to ambulate without pain hindering efforts.
Administer narcotics or analgesics as indicated.Provides relief of discomfort and pain and facilitates rest, participation in postoperative therapy.

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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