Prophylactic Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy and Direct-to-Implant Reconstruction of the Large and Ptotic Breast: Is Preshaping of the Challenging Breast a Key to Success?

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Abstract

Background:

Nipple-sparing mastectomy with simultaneous hammock technique direct-to-implant reconstruction is increasingly offered to patients opting for risk-reducing mastectomy. Despite this promising method, patients with macromastia and ptotic breasts remain a challenging group to treat satisfactorily and more often end up undergoing a difficult corrective procedure and experience an unacceptably high rate of failed reconstruction. The authors examined whether targeted preshaping mastopexy/reduction could prepare these patients for a successful nipple-sparing mastectomy/direct-to-implant reconstruction.

Methods:

Patients seeking risk-reducing nipple-sparing mastectomy/direct-to-implant reconstruction at the authors’ institutions deemed unfit for a one-stage procedure based on their previous experience were offered a targeted two-stage, risk-reducing mastopexy/reduction followed by a delayed secondary nipple-sparing mastectomy and direct-to-implant reconstruction. Patients were followed up at 3 weeks and 6 or 12 months.

Results:

Forty-four reconstructions were performed in 22 patients aged 43 years (range, 26 to 57 years). All 44 procedures were completed successfully without any failure or nipple-areola complex losses. Patients’ median body mass index was 30 kg/m2 (range, 22 to 44 kg/m2). Six patients were smokers and one had hypertension. Two patients underwent reoperation because of hematoma and fat necrosis.

Conclusions:

The authors’ results demonstrate that a targeted preshaping mastopexy/reduction followed by nipple-sparing mastectomy/direct-to-implant reconstruction can be safely planned in women who opt for a risk-reducing mastectomy and can be performed successfully with a 3- to 4-month time span between operations. On the basis of these results and the superior cosmetic outcome, the two-stage approach has become the authors' standard of care in all such settings.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, IV.

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