There are several inherited genetic mutations that may make a person more susceptible to breast cancer. Commonly encountered genetic mutations such as BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, and CHEK2 are identified in patient with breast cancer and those with DCIS. Frequently, these patients may wish to undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. Prophylactic mastectomy is the removal of a normal breast to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer. In patients who undergo bilateral mastectomy, the breast can be reconstructed with tissue expanders and implants or the breast can be reconstructed with autologous tissue or tissue from the patients own body.
In autologous reconstruction, the most commonly used tissue is tissue from the lower abdomen. In the setting of a bilateral mastectomy, the tissue from the left side of the abdomen is used to reconstruct the right breast and tissue from the right side of the abdomen is used to reconstruct the left breast.
The photograph depicts bilateral mastectomy in a patient with ptotic breasts. The nipple areola complex has been removed with the breast specimen. The lower abdominal donor site is closed linearly in the horizontal direction.