In skin-sparing mastectomy, the surgeon preserves most of the skin around the breast. But the surgical procedure removes the skin of the areola, nipple, and the original biopsy scar. The surgeon then removes the breast tissue via the created small opening. The surgeon may also remove more lymph nodes, if necessary.
Generally, skin-sparing mastectomy removes:
- Breast tissue
But it preserves:
- Breast skin
- Pectoralis muscle
Skin-sparing mastectomy is usually done to provide the required skin for immediate reconstruction. The pouch of skin that remains provides the best form and shape for fitting a reconstruction or implant using your own tissue.
Most women prefer this procedure to achieve the most pleasing and realistic results from an immediate breast reconstruction.
How to Tell if Skin-Sparing Mastectomy is for You
Most women can qualify for skin-sparing mastectomy, but here are the exceptions:
- The skin-sparing mastectomy won’t be suitable if you don’t choose to undergo immediate breast reconstruction. Instead, the surgeon will remove most of the skin to make the scar and chest surface flat
- The skin-sparing mastectomy won’t be a safe option if tumor cells are near the skin, like in the case of inflammatory breast cancer
But who’s this surgery for? Well, it’s ideal for those women:
- Looking for immediate reconstruction after undergoing mastectomy
- Undergoing prophylactic mastectomy
- At an early stage of breast cancer and studies show there’s a low risk of recurrence of breast cancer after undergoing skin-sparing mastectomy
What Happens after the Surgery?
After undergoing the surgery, a surgeon will arrange a follow-up visit and provide relevant home care instructions.
After being discharged, you may still have surgical drains in the chest. It’s essential that you empty the drain and record the measurement of its output. Your surgeon will remove those drains one or two weeks later.
You’ll need to take it easy and get plenty of rest during the first few days.
Your doctor will recommend some medicine for the pain and antibiotics to avert possible infections.
The doctor may suggest that you perform regular stretching exercises to enhance flexibility.
Immediately after the surgery, the breast will look swollen and bruised, but the swelling will subside and the bruising fade as days pass.
As you recover, you may feel anxious, sad, or overwhelmed, especially if you need more treatment. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way.
At Texas Breast Care, we provide personalized care and counselling to help our patients go through this process. We also talk to your loved ones so they understand what’s going on.
Contact us today at 214.379.2700 to receive additional expert guidance regarding skin-sparing mastectomy.