What are the surgical variations of a simple mastectomy?

Updated: Feb 11, 2019
  • Author: Kanchan Kaur, MBBS, MS (GenSurg), MRCSEd; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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The technique described below is the standard approach to a simple mastectomy. However, the following variations on the procedure have been developed and may be considered:

  • "Lazy S" skin incision - This incision is preferred by some surgeons, especially if they are not contemplating breast reconstruction; it also allows old scars to be incorporated in the excised skin

  • Hydrodissection - A mixture of saline, local anesthetic, and epinephrine can be infiltrated into the subcutaneous plane of the flaps before the skin incision is made; the flaps can then be raised by means of sharp dissection with scissors or a blade

  • Nipple- and skin-sparing mastectomy [7] - This modification allows the nipple-areola complex to be preserved; the procedure is performed through a periareolar incision around approximately half the circumference of the areola with a lateral horizontal extension

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