BRCA 1 & BRCA 2 gene mutations have been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased with a BRCA mutation. If the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation is found, several options are available to help manage cancer risk. These options include surveillance with clinical exams, mammography and MRI; prophylactic surgery to include mastectomies and/or salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries); risk avoidance such as alcohol avoidance, maintaining a healthy weight, decreasing dietary fats; and chemoprevention with Tamoxifen or raloxifene. These options should be discussed with your oncologist, geneticist or general surgeon.
BRCA positive women and BRCA negative women with a strong family history of breast cancer often elect to undergo prophylactic mastectomies. Working closely with our general surgeons, we can offer areolar-sparing or nipple sparing mastectomies with immediate reconstruction utilizing autologous abdominal or gluteal tissue. This allows for a more natural appearing and feeling breast. Our goal is to minimize the scarring around the breast to provide the most aesthetically appearing restoration. Although we cannot re-establish erogenous sensation, in most cases we can reestablish sensation in the breast by re-attaching a nerve in the breast during the restoration process. The choice for an areolar-sparing or a nipple-sparing mastectomy is a decision to be made with your general surgeon.