The Nipple-Areola Preserving Mastectomy: The Value of Adding a Delay Procedure

Carlos A Martinez, Scott M Reis, Sean G Boutros

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BACKGROUND: Conservative mastectomy procedures, such as the nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM), present appealing options for patients with small invasive or noninvasive malignancies and those needing prophylactic mastectomies. Despite outstanding postoperative cosmetic results, nipple-areola complex (NAC) and mastectomy skin flap (MSF) survival remains a concern. We present our two-stage nipple-areola preserving (NAP) mastectomy, which aims to decrease the rate of NAC loss and MSF necrosis after conservative mastectomies.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seventy patients who underwent NSM because of malignant and benign conditions were divided into 2 groups: those who underwent our two-stage NAP mastectomy were matched to the group of mastectomy patients without preservation techniques. Demographic data and postoperative results were retrospectively assessed.

RESULTS: The NAP group comprised 45 flaps (24 patients), and the NSM group comprised 75 flaps (46 patients). None were actively smoking. The mean time between the delay of the flap and breast reconstruction was 17.6 days (range, of 10-35 days) in the NAP group. No signs of NAC vascular compromise were observed in the NAP group. Nipple necrosis rates were significantly greater (P = 0.0136) in the NSM group: 9 cases in the NSM group versus none within the NAP group. Two patients within the NAP group required nipple excision at the time of their mastectomies after biopsies performed at the time of the NAC delay were positive for malignancy or atypia.

CONCLUSIONS: Vascular delay techniques favor the blood supply of a tissue after a surgical wound, effectively improving the survival of the NAC and MSF after nipple-sparing mastectomies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1098
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • Journal Article


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