Oncological safety of prophylactic breast surgery: skin-sparing and nipple-sparing versus total mastectomy

Victorien M.T. van Verschuer, Marike C. Maijers, Carolien H.M. van Deurzen, Linetta B. Koppert


Women with a BRCA1/2 gene mutation and others with a high breast cancer risk may opt for bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. To allow for immediate breast reconstruction the skin envelope is left in situ with or without the nipple-areola complex (NAC). Although possibly leading to a more natural aesthetic outcome than the conventional total mastectomy, so-called skin-sparing mastectomies (SSM) and nipple-sparing mastectomies (NSM) may leave some breast glandular tissue in situ. The oncological risk associated with remaining breast glandular tissue is unclear. We present a case of primary breast cancer after prophylactic mastectomy followed by a review of the literature on remaining breast glandular tissue after various mastectomy techniques and oncological safety of prophylactic mastectomies.