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Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy in BRCA Mutation Carriers



Total skin-sparing mastectomy (TSSM) with preservation of the nipple–areolar complex skin has become increasingly accepted as an oncologically safe procedure. Oncologic outcomes after TSSM in BRCA mutation carriers have not been well-studied.


We identified 53 BRCA-positive patients who underwent bilateral TSSM for prophylactic (26 patients) or therapeutic indications (27 patients) from 2001 to 2011. Cases were age-matched (for prophylactic cases) or age- and stage-matched (for therapeutic cases) with non-BRCA-positive patients. Outcomes included tumor involvement of resected nipple tissue, the development of new breast cancers in patients who underwent risk-reducing TSSM, and local–regional recurrence in patients who underwent therapeutic TSSM.


Outcomes from 212 TSSM procedures in 53 cases and 53 controls were analyzed. In patients undergoing TSSM for prophylactic indications, in situ cancer was found in one (1.9 %) nipple specimen in BRCA-positive patients versus two specimens (3.8 %) in the non-BRCA-positive cohort (p = 1). At a mean follow-up of 51 months, no new cancers developed in either cohort. In patients undergoing TSSM for therapeutic indications, in situ or invasive cancer was found in zero of the nipple specimens in BRCA-positive patients versus two specimens (3.7 %) in the non-BRCA-positive cohort (p = 0.49). At a mean follow-up of 37 months, there were no local–regional recurrences in the BRCA-positive cohort and 1 (3.7 %) in the non-BRCA-positive cohort.


TSSM is an oncologically safe procedure in BRCA-positive patients. In patients undergoing TSSM as a risk-reducing strategy, 4-year follow-up demonstrates no increased risk of developing new breast cancers; longer-term follow-up is ongoing.

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Correspondence to Laura J. Esserman MD.

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Peled, A.W., Irwin, C.S., Hwang, E.S. et al. Total Skin-Sparing Mastectomy in BRCA Mutation Carriers. Ann Surg Oncol 21, 37–41 (2014).

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  • Nipple
  • BRCA Mutation Carrier
  • Regional Recurrence
  • Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy
  • Skin Flap Necrosis