Breast Cancer Prevention: Prophylactic Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Several breast reconstruction options exist to remove breast cancer or reduce associated risks. One of those options is a prophylactic mastectomy procedure, which preventatively removes one or both breasts to prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer development. For any patient, it is important to review the available choices for these types of procedures as well as your motivation for surgery. Because breast cancer surgery is life changing, board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Franklyn Elliott encourages patients to choose the option they are most comfortable with to maximize satisfaction with the results. Passionate about helping breast cancer patients, Dr. Elliott presents patients with their options as well as what to expect during recovery and results during a reconstructive surgery consultation. breast-reconstruction-atlanta

When it comes to breast cancer surgery, some women choose bilateral mastectomies over unilateral mastectomies, which can lead to a more symmetrical, balanced result when it comes to the reconstruction that follows. Dr. Elliott provides options for breast reconstruction, including tissue flap reconstruction, fat transfer, and breast reconstruction using a breast implant.

Generally, a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy will be planned to spare both nipple and areola. The incision for the nipple-sparing mastectomy is made around the areola. A small amount of tissue under the nipple areolar is removed and examined during surgery for the presence of any cancer cells. If breast cancer cells are found in the tissue removed, the entire nipple areolar is removed. Patients can elect to have nipple and areola reconstruction surgery after healing if this route is taken.

Reasons why one may choose a prophylactic mastectomy vary: already having cancer in one breast, a family history of breast cancer, abnormal cells on previous biopsy, positive genetic testing, and/or and the presence of dense breasts. If a patient has been referred to a plastic surgeon, chances are they have identified one or more of these risk factors with a surgeon, oncologist, or specialist post-screening.

In a recent study of patients electing preventative mastectomy, only 5% of women expressed regret. It’s important for women choosing to undergo these extensive surgical procedures to understand that post-operative breasts may not be the same as their original breasts. While Dr. Elliott can offer his expertise in helping you feel comfortable with your surgery, ultimately, the chosen option for preventative mastectomy is exclusively your decision to make.

Please contact us to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Elliott to discuss your goals after conferring with your surgeon, oncologist, or specialist. To learn more about the breast reconstruction procedures Dr. Elliott performs, please visit his website and follow him on  FacebookTwitter, and Google +.