A nipple-sparing mastectomy is an advanced form of mastectomy performed on women with breast cancer. It can also be carried out as a preventative measure (risk-reducing surgery).
During nipple-sparing mastectomy, small incisions help to remove the whole glandular tissue of the breast. The incisions are made beneath the nipple and overlying skin. However, the nipple and skin envelope are usually left intact.
In most cases, nipple-sparing mastectomy is performed as an extension of the skin-sparing mastectomy. The objective of the operation is to preserve the breast structure and form without increasing the risk of recurrence.
Nipple-sparing mastectomy is safe and ensures long-term cosmetic and clinical outcomes for patients. It uses non-invasive, muscle preserving, and reconstructive techniques and procedures that minimize patient hospitalization and recovery times.
In some cases, nipple-sparing mastectomy is used instead of lumpectomy for breast cancer patients who want to preserve the natural look of their breasts while avoiding the risks associated with radiotherapy. The technique can also reduce the risk of Lymphedema by clearing the disease without the patient undergoing radiation treatment.
Women seeking prophylactic mastectomy (mastectomy performed on patients who don’t have cancer but have a family history of breast cancer or they carry the BRCA gene) will significantly benefit from a nipple-sparing mastectomy. It can also be performed on women with small tumors that are not situated directly beneath the nipple.
The nipple-sparing mastectomy approach is ideal for small and large breasts, especially if combined with natural tissue reconstruction or an implant. Women with ptosis (sagging breasts) can also undergo the procedure.
Benefits of Nipple Sparing Mastectomy
- By preserving the natural nipple, the operation gives the breast a natural appearance
- It minimizes scarring
- Women with large breasts or sagging breasts can benefit from the technique
- It is a viable option for a lumpectomy, which reduces the risk of lymphedema and side effects of radiation
Because every breast cancer case is unique, you should discuss your options with your doctors and surgeon. They’ll recommend the best procedure for your case based on the location and size of your tumor.
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