Article Abstract

Skin-sparing mastectomy

Authors: Eduardo G. González, Alberto O. Rancati


The surgical treatment of breast cancer has evolved rapidly in recent decades. Conservative treatment was adopted in the late 1970s, with rates above 70%, and this was followed by a period during which the indications for surgical intervention were expanded to those patients at high risk for BRCA1, BRCA2 mutations, and also due to new staging standards and use of nuclear magnetic resonance. This increase in the indications for mastectomy coincided with the availability of immediate breast reconstruction as an oncologically safe and important surgical procedure for prevention of sequelae. Immediate reconstruction was first aimed at correcting the consequences of treatment, and almost immediately, the challenge of the technique became the achievement of a satisfactory breast appearance and shape, as well as normal consistency. The skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) in conservation first and nipple-areola complex (NAC) later was a result of this shift that occurred from the early 1990s to the present. The objective of this review is to present all these developments specifically in relation to SSM and analyze our personal experience as well as the experience of surgeons worldwide with an emphasis on the fundamental aspects, indications, surgical technique, complications, oncological safety, and cosmetic results of this procedure.