Breast Cancer Surgery


The Division of Breast Surgery is the first in the World in terms of operations performed each year, performing 70% quadrantectomy or partial resection (the removal of the lesion with a certain amount of surrounding healthy tissue and a small portion of skin). In 30% of cases we perform mastectomy, the removal of the entire breast gland with immediate reconstruction with various techniques of reconstructive plastic surgery.

The Division includes the following unit:  Unit of Senology Day Surgery

Our Activities

The Division of Breast Cancer Surgery cooperates daily with specialists of the Divisions that are part of the Breast Program, being the work in a multidisciplinary team the basis of excellence: this is evident from clinical studies conducted so far and still ongoing.

When the tumor is not palpable (microcalcifications or very small nodules), our physicians use localization techniques to avoid errors and unnecessary removal of healthy tissue: the ROLL (Radioguided Occult Lesion Localization-localization of radio-guided occult lesions), invented at the IEO, is the most widely used around the world with the best results, but sometimes we can opt for skin mark.

Surgery for breast cancer is associated with sentinel node biopsy: the sentinel lymph node is the first lymph node that receives the lymph from the breast affected by cancer. Also in the case of the sentinel lymph node IEO was the first center in the World to validate the technique with a randomized trial. 

When the patient needs a mastectomy, in the majority of cases we guarantee the immediate reconstruction using techniques depending on the individual situation: breast surgeons cooperate with plastic-reconstructive surgeons to get the best cosmetic results. Breast conserving surgery and, rarely, mastectomy may be followed by radiation therapy.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy is a surgical technique developed by IEO more than ten years ago (dating back to 2002). This technique allows the removal of the mammary gland preserving entirely the outer shell (skin and nipple) and the integrity of the female image. Breast reconstruction is done simultaneously with mastectomy, usually with implants (permanent prosthesis or expander). Over the years the technique constantly improved. The retroareolar tissue is removed completely and radically and thanks to the refinement of the surgical technique the risk of complications, in particular the necrosis of the nipple, is very low and in continuous reduction. We always perform an intraoperative histological examination of the tissue immediately below the nipple, to ensure the maximum oncological radicality. In case of positivity for tumor or DIN, the nipple-areola complex must be removed.

The intraductal lesions are precancerous and do not have the potential to spread to other organs or to the axillary lymph nodes. For this reason, surgery is conservative and does not require the removal of axillary lymph nodes, even the sentinel lymph node.


The Division includes the following Units: Unit of Senology Day Surgery


Università degli Studi di Milano


Ministero della Salute Joint Commission International bollinirosa

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