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Learn about the steps that people at high risk for cancer can take to manage their risk and protect their health.

Skin-sparing mastectomy

Skin-sparing mastectomy is performed to facilitate immediate breast reconstruction. Skin-sparing mastectomy incisions are smaller than those required for a modified radical or simple mastectomy. Most of the breast tissue is removed, but most of the breast skin is saved to hold and shape the reconstructed breast. In a skin-sparing mastectomy, the incision is made around the areola. Sometimes it is necessary to make another incision extending down or to the side to remove as much breast tissue as possible. Research shows skin-sparing mastectomies do not increase the risk for breast cancer recurrence in patients with early stage breast cancer. A study on skin-sparing mastectomies in women with breast cancer did not find an elevated risk of recurrence with the skin-sparing mastectomy. Skin-sparing mastectomies are now commonly used for prophylactic mastectomy followed by immediate reconstruction.

Updated 12/29/16

FORCE:Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered