Mastectomy is a surgery for the removal of breast tissue affected by cancer. It usually involves removal of the breast tissue, nipple and areola. Skin-sparing mastectomy involves the removal of all of the breast tissue including the nipple, yet preserving as much of the breast skin as possible. It is not recommended in inflammatory breast cancer.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon makes a small incision usually around the nipple and areola or in an anchor pattern and removes the cancerous breast tissue and nipple leaving behind a natural skin pocket. The pocket may be immediately filled with your own body tissue or a breast implant, or a tissue expander may be inserted, which maintains the space and size of the breast until final reconstruction at a later stage. A nipple may be recreated or tattooed eventually to fully reconstitute the breast appearance.
Skin-sparing mastectomy offers improved cosmetic outcome compared to simple mastectomy , as the breast skin pocket together with the shape of the breast is preserved. However, as with any procedure, skin-sparing mastectomy may involve certain risks and complications, which include infection, swelling at the site of operation and bleeding.