Surgical decision making in conservative mastectomies

Giuseppe Catanuto, Nicola Rocco, Maurizio Bruno Nava


We present some clinical advice to drive the decision process in performing conservative mastectomies. Several factors are taken into consideration to indicate these techniques. First of all, we need to identify patients who need a mastectomy due to the extension of the disease. In this case we suggest assessing patients anthropometric characteristics (breast volume—ptosis), and personal preferences regarding the extension of surgical treatment. Small, medium size, without ptosis or with moderate ptosis can be better served by standard nipple-sparing mastectomy. Large and ptotic breast can be removed and reconstructed performing a skin-reducing mastectomy. Mastectomies cannot replace breast conservation and should be discouraged whenever breast-conserving surgery can be performed with good results. However, in some selected cases, and especially in patients with small breast, conservative mastectomies with contralateral reshape can yield favourable results.