Benefits of a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Pretty WomanThe modern-day mastectomy has evolved significantly from the procedure of old. Historically, a considerable amount of skin would be removed along with breast tissue during a mastectomy in order to decrease the risk of cancer returning. Over the years, however, clinical studies have shown that the preservation of breast skin at the time of a mastectomy does not have any bearing on the possibility of cancer recurrence, and new techniques have been developed to save as much skin as possible during the operation. One such technique is known as a nipple-sparing mastectomy, which is designed to preserve the nipple/areola in addition to breast skin.

The key benefit of the nipple-sparing mastectomy pertains to the quality of results that can be achieved via implant reconstruction or tissue flap reconstruction. Preserving more breast skin during mastectomy, particularly the central projection breast skin, will help create a better breast shape, and preserving the nipple-areolar complex can result in the appearance of a natural and healthy breast. In addition, the incision utilized in nipple-sparing mastectomies is generally concealed in the natural breast crease, helping it to remain hidden following the procedure.

Ultimately, when a mastectomy is indicated, the advancement in preserving more skin – and especially the nipple/areola – can significantly improve breast reconstruction outcomes for the majority of women.

Dr. Behzad Parva, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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