Nipple reconstruction is the last stage in cosmetic reconstruction of the breast after mastectomy, but no method produces reliable and consistent aesthetic results. This study examined the use of the Biodesign Nipple Reconstruction Cylinder (NRC) during reconstruction of the nipple after mastectomy.Methods:
Patients with a history of breast cancer and mastectomy desiring nipple reconstruction were invited to participate. After obtaining consent, unilateral or bilateral nipple reconstruction was performed. Skin flaps were raised, the NRC was placed beneath the flaps as a stent, and the site was protected for up to 4 weeks with a nipple shield. Nipple projection was measured for 12 months after surgery. Patient satisfaction was measured and adverse events were recorded. Follow-up examinations were performed at 1 week, and then at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery.Results:
Eighty-two nipple reconstructions were performed in 50 patients. Related postoperative adverse events were minor, but reported in 8 reconstructions (9.8%) representing 7 patients (14.0%). Average projection at 6 and 12 months was 4.1 ± 1.6 mm and 3.8 ± 1.5 mm, respectively, compared with 10.5 ± 2.2 mm 1 week after surgery. Of patients completing the satisfaction questionnaire at 12 months, 70/75 (93.3%) of reconstructions were rated “pleased” or “very pleased” with the overall outcome. Overall, 45/46 (97.8%) patients would recommend nipple reconstruction to other women.Conclusions:
The Biodesign NRC offers a safe alternative to nipple reconstruction, resulting in stable projection and a high level of patient satisfaction for 12 months after placement.