Scraping Breast Tissue Before Augmentation Normal?

A woman on a plastic surgery message board that I frequent said that her surgeon scraped her natural breast tissue before inserting her implants to decrease her risk of developing breast cancer in the future. I'd never heard of such a thing, is this practiced common?

Doctor Answers 13

Removing of breast tissue,subcutaneous mastectomy

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Subcutaneous mastectomy, or removal of breast tissue is not done that often now to prevent breast cancer in the future for clinical studies showed that this did not significantly reduce the incidence of breast cancer. Unfortunately, it did cause a lot of problems with healig and distortion of the breasts, especially if most breast tissue was removed. However, if there is a very strong chance of breast cancer, then this may still be an option. Breast implants can then be placed or other reconstruction done but the results are usually not as good as if just breast implants were used. Watch my videos. 

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Fibrocystic disease

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I have had two patients who have previously had subcutaneous mastectomies (possibly misinterpreted as "scraping")  for fibrocystic breast disease and had implants placed.  Not performed any longer as far as I know.  It is certainly odd to be told this by any plastic surgeon.

Nirav Savalia, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Augmentation and additional procedures

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Interesting question.  I am not aware of this technique.  There are no additional maneuvers such as scraping the breast that may prevent the incidence of future breast cancer.  Statistically, one in nine women will be confronted with breast cancer.  Family history is an important contributor to one's risk of future cancer.  Other modifiable risk factors include smoking, obesity, radiation exposure, and others.  Hormone useage such as hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptive use has some influence on breast cancer.  The above procedure that you mentioned does not sound like legitimate practice, but it may have been taken out of context. 

Hope this helps!

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Scraping breast tissue

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I have never heard of this.i wonder if the doctor is doing a breast biopsy to bill the insurance for the "procedure."

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

"Scraping" breast tissue not common.

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There is no procedure that I'm familiar with which involves scraping of a breast to reduce cancer risk. Most likely this was a misinterpretation of what this women had done (not uncommon at all!).

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Scraping Breast Tissue Before Augmentation Normal?

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NO! Never have heard of this "technique" in order to prevent breast cancer . Best if you can find thae surgeon who does this and speak personally to him/her. From MIAMI , please let us know if you find out something. 

Never heard of "scraping" breast tissue

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 I don't know what this technique could be.  There is no surgical way to decrease the risk of breast cancer when placing implants for breast augmentation.

Scraping before Breast Implants

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Hi pfsvp,

I have never heard of this...and have not seen in on message-boards, articles, or any other medium.

Most likely, this is a version of the game of "telephone," where one person says something and passes it around the circle.  By the time it gets to the first person again, it's been completely mangled.

In this case, it may refer to removing existing scar tissue (capsular contracture) in an attempt to improve the result.

What it actually comes from, though, is pure speculation.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Scraping breast tissue is not a step in breast augmentation

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Hard to say what you heard on the message board, though there is no such thing as scraping breast tissue to reduce breast cancer risk in those who have breast implants. Some women have a high breast cancer risk by family and genetic history, and for those individuals mastectomy, sometimes sparing the nipple, does reduce breast cancer risk. The breast tissue is replaced with an implant.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Internet Message Boards and Plastic Surgery Misinformation

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Thank you for your question. The importance of your specific topic is that so much of what is said on message boards and surgical forums are patients with limited information repeating what they hear as absolute truth.  This helps to muddy the waters for many prospective patients thinking what they hear in these arenas is the latest and greatest surgical procedure or cure. The Internet is filled with immense volumes of information and is a very useful tool, but there is significant portion of surgical forums where patients propagate partial truths.  Anything that sounds too good to be true or the next magic cure is likely another bottle of snake oil. 

Take your questions to your board certified surgeon and get the truth from a licensed professional.

Best of luck

Vincent Marin, MD, FACS

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.