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Nipple Sparing Mastectomy
The nipple sparing mastectomy and reconstruction has obvious aesthetic benefits but few patients are candidates and not all patients are willing to accept the risks. In addition, the nipple saved undergoes changes due to the mastectomy. If during the mastectomy the nipple is spared, the breast tissue at the base of the nipple is removed. Some breast surgeons will send a biopsy of the tissue removed from under the nipple to be certain there is no cancer at that location. If there are any cancer cells on the frozen section, then the nipple is removed as part of the mastectomy.
The advantage of maintaining the existing nipple and areola is that no further surgery is necessary create the nipple areola complex. However, there are a number of potential downsides to this technique which may include:
- Need for removal in the future if cancer recurs in the nipple
- Loss of sensation
- Lack of nipple projection
- Nipple malposition
- Wound healing complications of the nipple
- Possible partial or complete nipple areola loss
This procedure should only be done if the primary cancer is distant from the nipple areola complex, the breast surgeon is experienced in this technique, and the nipple is in a relatively good position for the reconstruction. Otherwise, a skin sparing mastectomy is the better choice.
To find out more about nipple sparing mastectomy, click here to request a phone consultation from Dr. Keller, a renowned plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive flap procedures. You can also call the practice at 516-482-1100 to schedule an appointment.