Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy in Patients with a History of Reduction Mammaplasty or Mastopexy: How Safe Is It?

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Nipple-sparing mastectomy has gained popularity, but the question remains of whether it can be offered safely to women with a history of reduction mammaplasty or mastopexy. The authors present their experience with nipple-sparing mastectomy in this patient population.


Patients at the authors’ institution who had reduction mammaplasty or mastopexy before nipple-sparing mastectomy were identified. Outcomes measured include nipple-areola complex viability, mastectomy flap necrosis, infection, presence of cancer in the nipple-areola complex, and breast cancer recurrence.


The records of the nipple-sparing mastectomy patients at the authors’ institution from 2006 through 2012 were reviewed. The authors identified 13 breasts in eight patients that had nipple-sparing mastectomy following reduction mammaplasty or mastopexy. Within this subset of patients, the mean age was 46.6 years and the mean body mass index was 25.1. Nine of 13 breasts had therapeutic resections, whereas the remaining four were for prophylactic indications. Average time elapsed between reduction mammaplasty or mastopexy and nipple-sparing mastectomy was 51.8 months (range, 33 days to 11 years). In all cases, prior reduction mammaplasty/mastopexy incisions were used for nipple-sparing mastectomy. Ten breasts underwent reconstruction immediately with tissue expanders, one with a latissimus dorsi flap with immediate implant and two with immediate abdominally based free flaps. Complications included one hematoma requiring evacuation and one displaced implant requiring revision. There were no positive subareolar biopsy results, and the nipple viability was 100 percent. Mean follow-up time was 10.5 months.


The authors’ experience demonstrates that nipple-sparing mastectomy can be offered to patients with a history of reduction mammaplasty or mastopexy with reconstructive outcomes comparable to those of nipple-sparing mastectomy alone.


Therapeutic, IV.

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