15+ Mastectomy Nursing Care Plans

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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:

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  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
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Situational Low Self-Esteem

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Situational Low Self-Esteem

May be related to

  • Biophysical: disfiguring surgical procedure
  • Psychosocial: concern about sexual attractiveness

Possibly evidenced by

  • Actual change in structure/body contour
  • Verbalization of fear of rejection or of reaction by others, change in social involvement
  • Negative feelings about body, preoccupation with change or loss, not looking at body, nonparticipation in therapy

Desired Outcomes

  • Client will demonstrate movement toward acceptance of self in situation.
  • Client will recognize and incorporate change into self-concept without negating self-esteem.
  • Client will set realistic goals and actively participate in a therapy program.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Encourage questions about the current situation and future expectations. Provide emotional support when surgical dressings are removed.Loss of the breast causes many reactions, including feeling disfigured, fear of viewing scar, and fear of the partner’s reaction to change in the body.
Identify role concerns as woman, wife, mother, career woman, and so forth.May reveal how patient’s self-view has been altered.
Encourage patient to express feelings like anger, hostility, and grief.Loss of body part, disfigurement, and perceived loss of sexual desirability engender grieving process that needs to be dealt with so that patient can make plans for the future. Note: Grief may resurface when subsequent procedures are done (fitting for prosthesis, reconstructive procedure) if postponed.
Open up about signs and symptoms of depression with the patient and SO.Common reaction to this type of procedure that needs to be recognized and acknowledged to seek timely intervention as indicated.
Provide positive reinforcement for gains or improvement and participation in self-care and treatment program.Encourages the continuation of healthy behaviors.
Review possibilities for reconstructive surgery or prosthetic augmentation.If feasible, reconstruction provides less disfiguring or “near-normal” cosmetic result. Variations in skin flap may be done for facilitation of reconstructive procedure, which is often performed at the same time as the mastectomy. The associated emotional boost may help patient get through the more complex surgical recovery process and adjunctive therapies. Note: On occasion, reconstruction may not be done for 3–6 mo. A prolonged delay may result in increased tension in relationships and impair patient’s incorporation of changes into self-concept.
Ascertain feelings and concerns of partner regarding sexual aspects, and provide information and support.Negative responses directed at patient may actually reflect partner’s concern about hurting patient, fear of cancer or death, difficulty in dealing with personality and behavior changes in patient, or inability to look at the operative area.
Discuss and refer to support groups, including Men in Our Lives for SO, as appropriate.Provides a place to exchange concerns and feelings with others who have had a similar experience, and identifies ways SO can facilitate patient’s recovery.
Provide temporary soft prosthesis, if indicated.Prosthesis of nylon and Dacron fluff may be worn in bra until incision heals if reconstructive surgery is not performed at the time of mastectomy. This may promote social acceptance and allow patient to feel more comfortable about body image at the time of discharge.
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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:

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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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