Mastectomy is the surgical procedure to remove the whole breast. It is divided into various types according to the tissue that is removed. A total mastectomy, which is a removal of the entire breast with no removal of muscle tissue and no dissection of axillary nodes. In a modified radical mastectomy, besides removing the breast, the surgeon removes the axillary lymph nodes as well. In a radical mastectomy, whole breast, lymph nodes and chest wall muscles are removed. Of course, the type of mastectomy your doctor chooses depends on the extent of the tumor.