We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Subcutaneous Mastectomy?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A subcutaneous mastectomy is a surgery where a surgeon removes breast tissue through an incision just below the breast to spare as much skin as possible and leave the nipple intact. This approach may be recommended to treat some forms of breast cancer and can also be used in prophylactic mastectomy surgeries to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer in patients with a risk of this condition. There are some risks to this procedure, of which the most important may be that the risk of breast cancer or recurrence is higher with this as opposed to other mastectomy options.

The advantage of the subcutaneous and other skin-sparing mastectomy procedures is that they make it easier to perform reconstructive surgery. More tissue is left in place for a reconstructive plastic surgeon to work with, and this can result in a better cosmetic outcome. The scar may also be less visible because of the position under the breast. Some patients may prefer this to avoid questions or comments in the future.

Conversely, the subcutaneous mastectomy can have disadvantages for patients with extremely large or locally aggressive cancers. In these cases, the cancer may spread too far for the surgeon to get all of it with a subcutaneous mastectomy. If the surgeon performs the procedure anyway, the cancer can recur in the remaining breast tissue. In prophylactic surgeries, the leftover tissue could be large enough for a tumor to develop at some point in the future.

Surgeons carefully evaluate the risks and benefits before proposing treatments to their patients. They have concerns about cosmetic outcomes because they can have an impact on patient quality of life, but their first priority is to save the life of the patient. If they feel that a subcutaneous mastectomy would not be in a patient's best interests, they may not bring it up as a treatment option or might recommend against it if a patient asks. Patients can ask for second opinions or advice from other surgeons.

In a subcutaneous mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, a plastic surgeon will work immediately after the oncology surgeon in the operating room to restore the breast's appearance. This can reduce the risks associated with a second surgery to rebuild the breast. It may not be an option in all cases, as a surgeon may want to wait to determine how the patient responds to treatment before proceeding with reconstruction.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.