Skin sparing mastectomy (SSM) removes the breast, nipple-areolar complex, previous biopsy incisions, and skin overlying superficial tumors. Preservation of the native skin envelope facilitates immediate breast reconstruction. The procedure has been adopted for the treatment of breast cancer. All cases of SSM and immediate breast reconstruction performed by the senior author (G.W.C.) from January 1, 1993, through December 12, 1997, were reviewed. Patient demographics, cancer staging, treatment, types of surgery performed, and postoperative outcomes were examined. Aesthetic outcomes were measured using four 3-point subscales. A total of 100 patients underwent 118 SSMs during the study period. The American Joint Committee on Cancer staging was as follows: stage 0, 27 patients; stage I, 25 patients; stage II, 39 patients; stage III, 7 patients; stage IV, 3 patients; recurrent, 2 patients; and cystosarcoma phylloides, 1 patient. The mean follow-up was 42.7 months. Local recurrence occurred in 2 patients (2.7%). Reconstructive methods included the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap (N = 82; pedicled, 73; free, 9), the latissimus flap (N = 18), and tissue expansion (N = 20). Two patients underwent contralateral delayed reconstruction. The aesthetic results achievable with the three methods were similar. The failure rate was higher for expander reconstruction (10%) than those observed for transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (4.9%) and latissimus (5.6%) flaps. SSM can be used in the treatment of invasive breast cancer without compromising local control. The aesthetic results of the three methods were similar, but tissue expander reconstruction had a higher failure rate.
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