Are Skin Sparing Mastectomies Effective in a Prophylactic Setting Among BRCA Carriers?

I realize more tissue remains using this technique but it seems to be increasing in popularity.

Doctor Answers 5

Efficacy of Skin Sparing Mastectomy in a BRCA Carrier

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Skin sparing mastectomy is a type of mastectomy that can be performed under the right circumstances. The tissue which is preserved is the skin, not the breast tissue. Therefore unless clinically contraindicated, a skin sparing mastectomy may be appropriate in your case.

Currently a newer procedure, skin and nipple sparing mastectomy, is becoming more popular for prophylactic as well as for therapeutic mastectomies. You will certainly need to consult with a surgeon in person to help determine which procedure is right for you.


Skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction for BRCA

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The use of skin-sparing mastectomy for BRCA carriers is becoming increasingly common, especially with immediate reconstruction using an internal Alloderm bra. Very often the nipple is spared too, and since nearly all of the breast tissue is removed the remaining risk is very small. Unless you want to go larger than your pre-surgery breasts, tissue expansion should not be necessary because of the Alloderm.

Prophylactic mastecomies BRCA, Breast reconstruction for BRCA carriers using DIEP flaps

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The majority of mastectomies are skin sparing whether they are prophylactic or not.  The oncologic surgeon removing the breast tissue works through a circle drawn around the areola to preserve the skin of the breast.  The Plastic Surgeon then uses this circular open to perform the reconstruction.  This can be done with expanders, your own tissue such as DIEP flaps, or a combination of both you own tissue and expanders.

Skin sparing mastectomy is normal

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This is a question better answered by your breast surgeon but in my practice when I perform breast reconstruction, I don't recall the last time a breast surgeon did not perform a skin sparing mastectomy unless the breast cancer was too close or involving skin


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More and more skin sparing mastectomy and nipple sparing mastectomy are becoming more popular. ou need to discuss this with your breast surgeon, oncologist and plastic surgeon.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

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.