Comparison of skin-sparing mastectomy versus non-skin-sparing mastectomy for breast cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies

Ann Surg. 2010 Apr;251(4):632-9. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181d35bf8.


Objectives: To evaluate differences in outcomes of breast cancer patients undergoing either conventional mastectomy without reconstruction (NSSM) or skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) with immediate reconstruction.

Data sources: All comparative studies published between 1997 and 2009 were used to evaluate local recurrence and distant relapse in the 2 study groups.

Review methods: Meta-analytical models were used to evaluate the study outcomes. Sensitivity analysis, was carried out to evaluate the robustness of the pooled estimates and assess the between-study heterogeneity.

Results: Nine studies, comprising of 3739 patients (1104 SSM and 2635 NSSM) were included in the analysis. There were no significant differences in the disease stage or the proportion of invasive cancers between groups (73.9% vs. 83.8%, P = 0.65). There was no significant difference in local recurrence between the SSM versus NSSM groups (7 studies, 3436 patients, 6.2% vs. 4.0%, odds ratio = 1.25, 95% CI: 0.81-1.94) and there was no significant heterogeneity between the studies. The SSM group had a lower proportion of distant relapses compared with the NSSM group (5 studies, 2122 patients, 10.0% vs. 12.7%, odds ratio = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.48-0.94) but this should be interpreted with caution since the grade of the tumors was not adequately reported in the studies considered.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that in breast cancer patients, SSM was not significantly different from NSSM, in terms of rates of local recurrence. As no randomized control trial has addressed this question to date, the present meta-analysis reports the best evidence on the subject.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty
  • Mastectomy / methods*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local