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Total glandular mastectomy and modified radical mastectomy were compared for the amount of breast tissue remaining after surgery. Multiple biopsies were taken from the anterior chest walls of women following total glandular mastectomy (N= 27) and modified radical mastectomy (N= 28) to try to detect any residual glandular tissue. Regardless of procedure performed, breast tissue was identified histologically in 5 percent of all biopsy specimens (159 and 161, respectively). One of every five operative fields was shown to have glandular elements in at least one of the biopsy sites; the positive biopsies did not form a discernible pattern. The residual breast tissue in each of these patients averaged less than 1 gm.On the basis of this study, modified radical mastectomy and total glandular mastectomy appear to be equally effective in removing most of the breast.