Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 3171–3176

Surgical Delay of the Nipple–Areolar Complex: A Powerful Technique to Maximize Nipple Viability Following Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

  • J. Arthur Jensen
  • Jennifer H. Lin
  • Nimmi Kapoor
  • Armando E. Giuliano
Breast Oncology

DOI: 10.1245/s10434-012-2528-7

Cite this article as:
Jensen, J.A., Lin, J.H., Kapoor, N. et al. Ann Surg Oncol (2012) 19: 3171. doi:10.1245/s10434-012-2528-7

Abstract

Objectives

Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) improves cosmetic outcome of mastectomy, but many patients are not candidates for this procedure because of concerns about nipple-areolar viability. Surgical delay is a technique that has been used for more than 400 years to improve survival of skin flaps. We used a surgical delay procedure to improve nipple viability in patients who were identified to be at high risk for nipple necrosis following NSM.

Methods

Patients at high risk for nipple necrosis following NSM underwent a surgical delay procedure 7–21 days prior to mastectomy. Subareolar biopsy and sentinel node biopsy, if indicated, were performed at the time of the delay procedure. Nipple viability was assessed before and after NSM. If the subareolar biopsy revealed malignancy, the NAC was removed at the time of mastectomy.

Results

31 NAC in 20 patients underwent surgical delay. All of the NAC subjected to a surgical delay survived following the delay procedure. In 2 patients, the subareolar biopsy was positive and 3 NAC were removed at the time of mastectomy (1 for purposes of symmetry). Of the 28 delayed NAC left at the time of NSM, all survived the post-mastectomy course.

Conclusion

A procedure to surgically delay the NAC 7–21 days prior to NSM is demonstrated to ensure viability of NAC in patients previously thought to be at high risk for nipple loss.

Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Arthur Jensen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jennifer H. Lin
    • 2
  • Nimmi Kapoor
    • 2
    • 3
  • Armando E. Giuliano
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Plastic SurgeryGeffen School of Medicine at U.C.L.A.Los AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Division of Surgical OncologyJohn Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health CenterSanta MonicaUSA
  3. 3.Division of SurgeryCedars Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Division of Surgical OncologyCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA