Keyhole Flap Nipple Reconstruction

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Nipple-areola reconstruction is often one of the final but most challenging aspects of breast reconstruction. However, it is an integral and important component of breast reconstruction because it transforms the mound into a breast. We performed 133 nipple-areola reconstructions during a period of 4 years. Of these reconstructions, 76 of 133 nipple-areola complexes were reconstructed using the keyhole flap technique. The tissue used for the keyhole dermoadipose flap technique include transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flaps (60/76), latissimus dorsi flaps (15/76), or mastectomy skin flaps after tissue expanders (1/76). The average patient follow-up was 17 months. The design of the flap is based on a keyhole configuration. The base of the flap determines the width of the future nipple, whereas the length of the flap determines the projection. We try to match the projection of the contralateral nipple if present. The keyhole flap is simple to construct yet reliable. It provides good symmetry and projection and avoids the creation of new scars. The areola is then tattooed approximately 3 months after the nipple reconstruction.

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