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September 1955

Fixation of Skin Flaps in Radical Mastectomy by Subcutaneous SuturesObservations

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;71(3):419-423. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270150113013

Cancer of the breast is the commonest malignant tumor in women, and radical mastectomy is the only proved method of cure. Anything that can be done to promote a quick and uncomplicated convalescence after this mutilating operation is important to these patients. It is agreed the operation must not be less radical if it is to be successful; so a lessened morbidity must come from improving the method of repair, or closure, of the wound.

The primary object of breast amputation for cancer is, of course, the radical, complete, and meticulous removal of the breast and adjacent structures in accordance with accepted techniques. Of secondary importance is closure of the wound, but this does not imply this part of the operation should be neglected. On the other hand, it should reflect the skill and the thoroughness of the primary amputation.

Primary healing is the aim in any clean surgical wound.

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