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Surgical Delay of Nipple Areola Complex: A Powerful Technique to Extend the Indication of Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Published:January 11, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2023.01.003

      Highlights

      • The surgical delay (SD) techniques improve the blood supply of the nipple-areola complex and reduces the ischemic risk of the latter after nipple sparing mastectomy.
      • The experience of our center with surgical delay of the nipple-areola complex in the setting of nipple sparing mastectomy is reported in this study.
      • The surgical delay procedure could allow the extension of the indication of nipple sparing mastectomies and immediate breast reconstruction to patients with risk factors for local complications such as history of radiation, chemotherapy, and previous breast surgery, high body mass index, smoking status, diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, elevated breast volume, and high degree of ptosis.

      Abstract

      Background

      Surgical delay (SD) techniques, performed before the nipple sparing mastectomy (NSM), are procedures conceived to improve the blood supply to the nipple-areola complex (NAC) in order to overcome the ischemic risk. The aim of the study is reporting our experience with SD of the NAC in the setting of NSM, identify the rate of nipple and skin necrosis and other complications and to evaluate patient satisfaction with cosmetic outcome.

      Patients and Methods

      A retrospective review of female patients, who underwent NSM and breast reconstruction between the July 2014 and the July 2019, was performed at the Breast Unit of San Giovanni-Addolorata Hospital in Rome. Eighty-nine NSM after SD procedure were performed in 66 patients. In all cases immediate breast reconstruction was performed with a direct to implant technique and polyurethane implants in prepectoral plan were used in all reconstructions.

      Results

      We registered only 1 case of total NAC necrosis and 3 skin flap necrosis. Furthermore, patient satisfaction with breast reconstruction resulted excellent or good in 23 cases and good in 36 cases; the external plastic surgeon considered the breast reconstruction excellent or good in 63 cases.

      Conclusion

      We support the thesis that SD techniques may expand indications for NAC sparing mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction in women with known risk factors for local complications.
      Microabstract
      This is the largest single center series on surgical delay of nipple areola complex providing interesting data on follow-up and complication rates and we support the thesis that surgical delay techniques may expand indications for nipple-areola complex sparing mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction in women with known risk factors for local complications.

      Keywords

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