Prophylactic Mastectomy

Prophylactic mastectomy is a proactive step for individuals who don’t currently have a cancer diagnosis but are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer because of specific risk factors. Preventative mastectomy is an option for those with a family history of the disease or specific genetic mutations (BRCA 1 or 2). It’s a powerful and brave choice to reduce risk while preserving the aesthetic appearance of one’s breasts. At Harris Plastic Surgery, we can help guide your choice, providing comprehensive care so you feel supported and heard as you reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preventative Mastectomy

If you are thinking about getting a prophylactic mastectomy, you probably have a lot of questions racing through your mind. Here are some of the most common questions we hear in our office and their answers.

A prophylactic mastectomy (also called a preventative mastectomy) is a surgical procedure for high-risk individuals where one or both breasts are removed to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer later in life. There are multiple types of prophylactic mastectomy you and your surgical team can choose from depending on your needs and your anatomy, including nipple-sparing mastectomy and skin-sparing mastectomy.



Both breasts are removed, including all breast tissue, nipple, areola, ducts, and lobules. This surgery is usually reserved for the highest-risk cases.Only the breast tissue is removed, preserving the nipple and areola for improved cosmetic outcomes. This surgery is typically suitable for women at higher risk due to genetic mutations without breast cancer present.

Preventative mastectomy is a medically necessary surgery for some women, but not all women. Individuals who are good candidates for preventative mastectomy are those who have:

  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations or other genetic conditions that increase breast cancer risk 
  • A strong family history of breast cancer
  • Been diagnosed with cancer in one breast and are now considering removing the other
  • No current cancer detected
  • History of chest radiation
  • Almost total risk reduction for developing breast cancer
  • More convenient 
  • Psychological benefits 
    • Lower anxiety about developing breast cancer in the future
    • Increased sense of autonomy and control in an uncertain time
  • Better aesthetic outcomes
  • No emergency rush to decide treatment 
    • You can plan your surgery with the outcomes in mind
    • You can select the plastic surgeon of your choice for both the best outcomes and the best experience

Very few women regret undergoing a prophylactic mastectomy

Working with an expert plastic surgeon gives you the benefit of choosing from several breast reconstruction options so you can find the fit that’s best for you.

Reconstruction options include:

    • First-step breast reduction/lift 
      •  those patients who require raising of the nipple into the optimal position in anticipation of prophylactic nipple-sparing mastectomy 


Unfortunately, no. However, getting a prophylactic mastectomy does decrease your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by more than 90%.

Your main alternative is increased monitoring. Clinical breast exams, mammograms, ultrasounds, and breast MRIs can help detect abnormal tissue changes early, so you would be able to start treatment when it will be the most effective. 

Why Choose Harris Plastic Surgery To Coordinate Your Mastectomy?

Choosing a plastic surgeon for your mastectomy is about more than the reconstructive process. This procedure is a massive, coordinated surgery that needs a “conductor.” An excellent plastic surgeon will provide you with comprehensive care throughout your journey. At Harris Plastic Surgery, you’ll receive:

  • Expert coordination. We handle all stages of your mastectomy journey, from finding and working with the right breast surgeon to perform the mastectomy to offering a comprehensive reconstruction plan.
  • Skilled medical attention. A leader in his field, Dr. Harris has performed thousands of breast reconstruction surgeries in his career. He is experienced in all phases of breast, areola, and nipple reconstructions and can meet all your needs in one place. 
  • Insurance coverage assistance. Our dedicated insurance team will help you obtain the coverage you need to pay for your mastectomy. New York law requires insurance coverage for mastectomies. We make sure you get it. 
  • Personalized care. We tailor the entire process to your unique needs, ensuring you’re comfortable and confident throughout your time with us. We make every decision with your end goal in mind, prioritizing your well-being and peace of mind.
  • Seamless experience. With Harris Plastic Surgery, you have a single point of contact for all your mastectomy and reconstruction needs, which ensures continuity of care and a low-stress experience. 

Empower yourself with the knowledge and support you need to make the right decision for your health and well-being. Contact Harris Plastic Surgery to start your journey toward a safer future with a prophylactic mastectomy and personalized reconstruction plan. 

If you'd like to learn more about the prophylactic mastectomy options at Harris Plastic Surgery, we'd be happy to help. Reach out to us for a consultation.