The Pros and Cons of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

Grant W. Carlson, MD, from Emory University Hospital, discusses some pros and cons associated with contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

Pros

Grant W. Carlson, MD, professor of surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, chief, Division of Plastic Surgery, Emory University Hospital, discusses some pros and cons associated with contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

  • Patients experience a psychological benefit: The chances of a new breast cancer developing are greatly reduced.
  • The aesthetic results of breast reconstruction are increased.

Cons

  • Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy adds time to surgery and significantly increases complication rates.
  • Approximately 25% of breast complications observed in a patient undergoing bilateral reconstruction is seen in the prophylactically removed breast.