Considering Prophylactic Mastectomy? Knowledge is Key
Prophylactic mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes one or both breasts in order to lower the potential for breast cancer development in women at higher breast cancer risk. The surgery can significantly reduce the risk for women carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation or other gene mutations, as well as women with a strong history of breast cancer in their family. When it comes to considering prophylactic mastectomy, knowledge is key
Prophylactic mastectomy can nearly always be done as a nipple-sparing mastectomy, which gives women the psychological and visible benefit of preserving their own nipples. It also saves them from having to have additional procedures in the future for nipple reconstruction.
Depending on a woman’s goals, breast reconstruction can be done as either a one-stage or a two-stage procedure with either implants or using their own tissue. Newer techniques for implant reconstruction include one-stage, above-the-muscle reconstruction, which allows women to avoid having a tissue expander and helps them recover more quickly. Flap procedures such as DIEP flap reconstruction preserve a woman’s abdominal muscles, again helping them recover more quickly with fewer long-term issues.