Robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy: systematic review

F. A. Angarita, M. Castelo, M. Englesakis, D. R. McCready, T. D. Cil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The growing volume of studies of robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy requires critical assessment. This review synthesizes the data on safety, feasibility, oncological and cosmetic outcomes, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) for robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy. Methods: A systematic review was performed using MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process/ePubs, Embase/Embase Classic, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, LILACS, PubMed, ClinicalTrials.Gov, WHO ICTRP and the grey literature. Original studies reporting on patients with breast cancer or at increased risk of breast cancer undergoing robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Institute of Health Economics Case Series Quality Appraisal Checklist. Results: Of 7177 titles screened, eight articles were included, reporting on 249 robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomies in 187 women. The indication was either therapeutic (58·6 per cent) or prophylactic (41·4 per cent), with immediate reconstruction performed in 96·8 per cent. Surgical techniques followed a similar approach, with variations in incision, robot models, camera and insufflation. Postoperative morbidity included skin complications, lymphocele, infection, seroma, haematoma and skin ischaemia/necrosis. Complications specific to the nipple–areolar complex included ischaemia and necrosis. There were two conversions owing to haemorrhage, but no intraoperative deaths. Three patients had positive margins. Follow-up time ranged from 3·4 to 44·8 months. Locoregional recurrences were not observed. PROMs and objective cosmetic outcomes were reported inconsistently. Data on nipple sensitivity were not reported. Conclusion: Robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy is feasible with acceptable short-term outcomes but it remains in the assessment phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1580-1594
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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