What is a Prophylactic Mastectomy

Removing one or both breasts surgically to prevent breast cancer is called a prophylactic mastectomy.

According to the National Cancer Institute, women who possess a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation may benefit from a preventative mastectomy because it may drastically lower their chance of getting breast cancer—by as much as 90 to 95%

Prophylactic mastectomy may reduce the incidence of breast cancer by as much as 90% in women with a significant family history of the disease. After the age of 30, preventive mastectomy is recommended for high-risk women.

Who Can Undergo a Prophylactic Mastectomy?

If you are concerned about acquiring breast cancer and you have risk factors like:

  • Breast cancer runs in the family:
    If a mother, daughter, or sister in your family has had breast cancer, your risk is much higher.
    If the person in your family was diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50, your risk is greater.

  • Results of a successful genetic analysis:
    Genetic testing may detect alterations (mutations) in genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2. A preventative mastectomy is one option for women who test positive for specific abnormalities.

  • Radiation treatment:
    Radiation treatment to the chest, especially between 10 and 30, is associated with a higher chance of developing breast cancer.

Types of Prophylactic Mastectomy

There are various types of prophylactic mastectomy:

  • With a double mastectomy, both breasts are surgically removed.

  • When one breast has cancer, a contralateral mastectomy removes the unaffected breast.

  • Breast tissue is removed via a little incision after the nipple and areola have been removed during a skin-sparing mastectomy.

  • With a nipple-sparing mastectomy, the breast tissue is removed, with no impact on the nipple or areola.

  • During a double mastectomy with reconstruction, both breasts are surgically removed, and the patient’s breasts are reconstructed with implants or donor tissue.

What are other Surgery options after Prophylactic Mastectomy?

  • Breast Reconstruction :

A plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction is the best option for doing breast reconstruction after a prophylactic mastectomy.

Reconstruction after a mastectomy may be performed at the same time as the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or a later period (delayed reconstruction).

When it comes to breast reconstruction, patients having preventative mastectomy may be good candidates for nipple- and areola-preserving treatments (Nipple Sparing Mastectomy) that make it possible to use methods that result in the most natural-looking breast possible.

  • Implant surgery :

With saline or silicone implants, surgeons may replicate the appearance of natural breast tissue.

Surgeons often combine your tissue with an implant to get the best possible results. The mastectomy procedure may be combined with implant reconstruction.

Alternatively, you might get this treatment after a mastectomy if you so want.

Also Read : Different Types of Breast Reconstruction Surgery?

Recovery Time After a Prophylactic Mastectomy

The amount of time it takes to recover after a mastectomy differs.

About three to four weeks is the typical time needed for the first healing process.

If you have undergone breast reconstruction, your recuperation time might be extended to eight weeks. It might be a few months before you feel up to doing all you once did.


If you have a high chance of developing breast cancer due to a gene mutation or a significant family history, you may be a candidate for the prophylactic mastectomy.

A preventive mastectomy involves having one or both breasts surgically removed.

Your own body tissue or implants may be used to rebuild your breasts.

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