Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy with Immediate Implant Reconstruction: Cosmetic Outcomes and Technical Refinements

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Abstract

Background:

Nipple-sparing mastectomy is gaining widespread popularity, as it could allow improved aesthetic outcome without increasing oncologic risk. To investigate the reconstructive issues experienced with immediate implant reconstruction, the authors reviewed the cosmetic outcomes of their series.

Methods:

The authors retrospectively analyzed the data on 33 cases of nipple-sparing mastectomy for both cancer and prophylaxis with immediate implant reconstruction using the submusculo-subfascial pocket. Cosmetic evaluation methods were clinical and photography-based assessments and a patient-satisfaction survey.

Results:

The average follow-up period was 26.8 months. No nipple-areola complex cancer involvement was registered. The reconstructive outcomes ranged from good to excellent in 83 percent of the cases. Patients' satisfaction was high to very high, except in one patient who experienced total nipple-areola complex loss (one breast, 2.4 percent). Overall, early minor complications were registered in four breasts (9.5 percent) and late minor complications in five cases (12 percent).

Conclusions:

The authors' series suggest that nipple-sparing mastectomy is an option for carefully selected and screened patients. Larger studies with longer follow-up are needed, however. On the whole, the immediate one-stage implant reconstruction with hyperprojected anatomical gel implants represents a valid option. The skin incision algorithm proposed, which is based on the breast size, shape, and previous scars, might aid in the decision-making process to achieve satisfying results using this procedure. The radial approaches represent a good compromise between the oncologic and reconstructive procedures.

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