Also known as prophylactic mastectomy, is a surgical procedure to remove one or both breasts in order to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. This surgery is typically recommended for women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer due to a family history of the disease, a genetic mutation, or other risk factors.

During the procedure, the surgeon will remove all or most of the breast tissue, leaving little or no breast tissue behind. In some cases, the surgeon may also remove the nipples and areolas. The surgeon may then reconstruct the breasts using breast implants or tissue from other parts of the body, such as the abdomen or buttocks.

Before the procedure

Patients should consult with their surgeon to discuss their risk factors for breast cancer and their options for risk reduction. They may need to undergo certain medical tests to ensure that they are healthy enough to undergo surgery. The surgeon may also provide specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, such as what medications to avoid and what to eat and drink before surgery.

After the procedure

Patients will need to take time to recover. They may experience pain, swelling, and discomfort for several weeks. The surgeon may prescribe pain medication to manage any discomfort. Patients should avoid strenuous activities and lifting heavy objects for several weeks after surgery to prevent complications. They may also need to wear a supportive bra to help with healing and reduce swelling.


The results of risk-reducing mastectomy can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in the future, but it does not completely eliminate the risk. Patients will still need to undergo regular breast cancer screenings and may need to take other preventive measures, such as taking medication or making lifestyle changes, to further reduce their risk.

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