How is the skin ellipse tailored in 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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A 20-in. blade is used to make an elliptical skin incision that includes the nipple-areola complex (see the image below). The skin ellipse should be tailored so as to ensure the following:

  • The resulting defect can be closed without tension

  • Any old biopsy sites or surgical scars are included in the ellipse if possible

  • The lateral end of the ellipse is medial to the midaxillary line

    Elliptical skin incision enclosing nipple-areola c Elliptical skin incision enclosing nipple-areola complex.

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