Immediate Nipple Reconstruction During Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction
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Nipple reconstruction is usually performed as a separate procedure, several months after the primary breast reconstruction. This study compared the outcomes of immediate and delayed nipple reconstructions during implant-based breast reconstructions.
A retrospective review was conducted of patients who underwent nipple reconstruction, after implant-based breast reconstruction, between September 2014 and August 2015. The nipple was simultaneously reconstructed following tissue expander removal and implant placement. The reconstructed nipple was evaluated immediately after surgery and 1 year later using objective measurements of nipple dimension and position, and a subjective assessment.
Sixty-one patients were included in the study, undergoing either immediate (n = 37) or delayed (n = 24) nipple reconstructions. Patients undergoing immediate nipple reconstructions had a significantly lower chance of radiotherapy (p = 0.018) and demonstrated a shorter period of tissue expansion (p = 0.011) than those undergoing delayed reconstructions. In the objective evaluations, nipple projections and symmetries between the groups were similar at the 1-year postoperative assessment. In the subjective reviews, esthetic breast mound outcomes were higher among those undergoing immediate reconstructions than among those undergoing delayed reconstructions; similar nipple symmetry and shape outcomes were obtained for both groups.
In cases of implant-based breast reconstruction, immediate nipple reconstruction concurrent with breast reconstruction provides satisfactory esthetic results compared with conventional delayed nipple reconstruction, in properly selected patients.
Level of evidence IV
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KeywordsNipple reconstruction Breast reconstruction Implant
The authors have no financial or institutional interest in any of the drugs, materials, or devices described in this article.