Comparison of Outcomes with Tissue Expander, Immediate Implant, and Autologous Breast Reconstruction in Greater Than 1000 Nipple-Sparing Mastectomies

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Abstract

Background:

Nipple-sparing mastectomy permits complete preservation of the nipple-areola complex with excellent aesthetic results and with oncologic safety similar to that associated with traditional mastectomy techniques. However, outcomes have not been directly compared for tissue expander–, immediate implant–, and autologous tissue–based breast reconstruction after nipple-sparing mastectomy.

Methods:

All patients undergoing nipple-sparing mastectomy from 2006 to June of 2016 were identified at a single institution. Demographics and outcomes were analyzed and compared among different types of breast reconstruction.

Results:

A total of 1028 nipple-sparing mastectomies were performed. Of these, 533 (51.8 percent) were tissue expander–based, 263 (25.6 percent) were autologous tissue–based, and 232 (22.6 percent) were immediate implant–based reconstructions. Tissue expander–based reconstructions had significantly more minor cellulitis (p = 0.0002) but less complete nipple necrosis (p = 0.0126) and major mastectomy flap necrosis (p < 0.0001) compared with autologous tissue–based reconstructions. Compared to immediate implant–based reconstruction, tissue expander–based reconstructions had significantly more minor cellulitis (p = 0.0006) but less complete nipple necrosis (p = 0.0005) and major (p < 0.0001) and minor (p = 0.0028) mastectomy flap necrosis (p = 0.0059). Immediate implant–based reconstructions had significantly more minor cellulitis (p = 0.0051), minor mastectomy flap necrosis (p = 0.0425), and partial nipple necrosis (p = 0.0437) compared with autologous tissue–based reconstructions. Outcomes were otherwise equivalent among the three groups.

Conclusions:

Tissue expander, immediate implant, and autologous tissue breast reconstruction techniques may all be safely offered with nipple-sparing mastectomy. However, reconstructive complications appear to be greater with immediate implant– and autologous tissue–based techniques compared with tissue expander–based reconstruction.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, III.

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