Prophylactic mastectomy: an appraisal

Am Surg. 2013 Feb;79(2):205-12.


The main indication of prophylactic mastectomy pertains to BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers. Prophylactic mastectomy includes the simple method and the subcutaneous method. Both methods can be followed by breast plastic reconstruction either at the same time or later. This review examines key issues regarding prophylactic mastectomy: the selection of patients, its effectiveness, its limitations, convergence/divergence in existing guidelines, and future perspectives.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty
  • Mastectomy* / adverse effects
  • Mastectomy* / methods
  • Mastectomy* / psychology
  • Patient Selection
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Genetic Markers