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. Prophylactic 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. 

Prophylactic Mastectomy Options: Skin-Sparing vs. Nipple-Sparing

A prophylactic mastectomy can either be bilateral (both breasts) or
contralateral (one breast). The mastectomy itself can either be a
skin-sparing mastectomy, in which the breast and nipples are removed, or
a nipple-sparing surgery, which preserves the nipples.



Both breasts are entirely removed, including all breast tissue, nipple, areola, ducts, and lobules. This is usually reserved for the highest-risk cases.

Only the breast tissue is removed, preserving the nipple and areola for improved cosmetic outcomes. This is typically suitable for women at higher risk due to genetic mutations without breast cancer present.


  • The removal of all tissue reduces cancer risk more than a nipple-sparing procedure.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy is generally less complex, making it suitable for some patients.
  • In some cases, immediate reconstruction can be performed during skin sparing mastectomy, streamlining the process.


  • Removing the nipple and areola can lead to changes in breast appearance because of skin contraction.
  • This approach may be limited to smaller breast sizes due to the need to preserve adequate blood supply to the remaining breast tissue.


  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy preserves the nipple and areola, resulting in a more natural breast appearance post-reconstruction.
  • Retaining the nipple can reduce the emotional impact of losing it, and improve psychological well-being.
  • In some cases, immediate reconstruction can be performed during nipple-sparing mastectomy, streamlining the process.


  • Preserving the nipple and areola may slightly elevate the risk of infection at surgical sites.
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy may not be suitable for everyone, as eligibility depends on individual factors and the surgeon’s assessment.
  • The procedure may take longer due to the complexity of preserving the nipple and areola, which potentially increases surgical time.

Why Choose Harris Plastic Surgery To Coordinate Your Mastectomy?

Choosing a plastic surgeon for your mastectomy is about more than the reconstructive process. This is a massive, coordinated surgery that needs a “conductor”: a good plastic surgeon will be able to 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 surgeries in his career. He is experienced in all phases of both breast and nipple reconstruction, 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. 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. This 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.