Double Mastectomy for DCIS

double mastectomy for DCIS

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is a non-invasive form of breast cancer where the cancerous cells are localized to the lining of the ducts and haven’t spread into the surrounding breast tissue. If you have been recently diagnosed with DCIS, it can feel incredibly overwhelming. Know that you are not alone and don’t have to make any decisions without expert guidance.

One of the first questions you probably have is, “Where do I go from here, and what are my treatment options?” The good news is that DCIS is a very early stage of breast cancer, which means you have not only many options to choose from but also enough time to make the best decision to fit your life.

Standard treatment options range from more conservative lumpectomy to double mastectomy for DCIS.

Is DCIS Breast Cancer?

In short, yes. The C in DCIS stands for carcinoma — which means cancer. The confusion comes because DCIS is also called “Stage 0 Breast Cancer,” which means that the lesion is completely curable at this stage but r might turn into invasive cancer someday, but it isn’t yet. But if you have been diagnosed with DCIS, it means your doctor found abnormal cancerous cells in your tissues.

Because DCIS is Stage 0, it means those cancerous cells are limited only to the lining of your breast ducts and have not spread (or metastasized) into your other breast tissue, surrounding tissues, or lymph nodes. Since the cancer is confined, there are a range of treatment options available to you, but it’s important you don’t put off making these decisions. DCIS has a very high survival rate but does have the potential to spread if left untreated.

Treatment Options for DCIS

Treatment for DCIS depends on the size and extent of the cancerous cells, your overall health, and personal treatment preferences. In conjunction with your breast surgical oncology team, a plastic surgeon can help you decide which option will best fit your needs and lifestyle.

Treatment Options for DCIS


What it Is

Who it’s Best For

Active Surveillance

More frequent clinical breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, and breast MRIs so you can start interventional treatment if there are signs of disease progression.

  • Elderly

  • Comorbidities that make surgery risky


(Oncoplastic Reduction)

The surgical removal of all cancerous tissue and a margin of healthy tissue surrounding the area. 

It preserves the breast while removing the abnormal cells.

  • Very localized DCIS cases

Adjunct Procedures

Radiation therapy to kill any remaining cancerous cells or hormone therapy to block estrogen receptors may be recommended after lumpectomy to reduce the risk of recurrence

  • Most patients undergoing lumpectomy for DCIS including patients choosing Oncoplastic Reduction

  • Those at risk of cancer recurrence


Complete removal of one or both breasts and associated tissues, preventing the spread or recurrence of breast cancer 

  • Cases with more widespread DCIS

  • Anyone who prefers this option for increased peace of mind

Ultimately, the decision to undergo mastectomy for DCIS is a personal one that should be made in consultation with your oncologist and plastic surgeon. You will need to discuss the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes of all treatment options so you can make a truly informed decision that matches your case presentation and goals.

Should You Get a Double Mastectomy for DCIS?

While not truly a prophylactic mastectomy since DCIS is an early breast cancer diagnosis, deciding on a mastectomy for DCIS treatment has many of the same considerations and offers many of the same benefits.

The main benefit is that you and your plastic surgeon can plan your mastectomy with your final reconstruction results in mind. Getting a double mastectomy for DCIS followed by an immediate reconstruction means you never have to know a time without having breasts.

Like all surgeries, there are many pros and cons to weigh, but women who choose mastectomy and work with a plastic surgeon from the outset almost never regret their decision.

Another benefit to consulting early with your plastic surgeon is being able to choose the right type of mastectomy and reconstruction to match your desired treatment outcomes.

Common Prophylactic Mastectomy and Reconstruction Techniques



While no one can make the decisions for you, having an experienced, expert plastic surgeon in your corner can make the process much easier and less stressful. 

Benefits of a Plastic Surgeon-First Consult for Double Mastectomy

A plastic surgeon-first consult can help you choose your surgery and reconstruction options with the outcomes in mind. Look for a plastic surgeon who:

Harris Plastic Surgery has a long history of helping women make these profoundly personal surgical decisions and delivering outcomes that match their goals.

Considering a Double Mastectomy for DCIS? We Can Help.

Finding out you have cancer is an emotional and chaotic time. There are so many decisions that need to be made, and they all feel overwhelming. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with DCIS, a plastic surgeon is a great resource for information on all your surgical treatment options. Whether you opt for increased surveillance, an oncoplastic reduction, or a double mastectomy for DCIS, A plastic surgeon-first consult can help you feel more confident in your choices. 

Harris Plastic Surgery - Your Breast Reduction Experts

If you are considering a double mastectomy for DCIS, we can help!
Contact us online or by phone/text message to discuss your options today.
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Stephen U. Harris, MD FACS

Dr. Stephen U. Harris is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon and recognized expert in breast reduction and reconstruction surgeries, having performed thousands in his career. When it comes to patient care, his philosophy is that every surgery should improve his patient’s overall quality of life, not just their appearance. Dr. Harris stays up-to-date on all the latest advancements in breast augmentation, reconstruction, and reduction and is a recognized innovator in the field. In fact, he was the first surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital to offer primary prepectoral implant breast reconstruction, as well as secondary prepectoral revision surgery.

Dr. Harris also serves as Chief of Plastic Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York and is an active staff surgeon (and former Chief of Plastic Surgery) at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York.

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