Comparative Study of Nipple–Areola Complex Position and Patient Satisfaction After Unilateral Mastectomy and Immediate Expander–Implant Reconstruction Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy Versus Skin-Sparing Mastectomy
Major surgical concerns associated with nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) are partial or total nipple–areola complex (NAC) loss, decreased sensation, and nipple malposition. Patient satisfaction and NAC outcomes including malposition in patients who have undergone unilateral expander–implant reconstruction after NSM as compared with skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) remain unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess patient satisfaction and NAC outcomes of breast cancer patients who underwent spared or reconstructed NAC after unilateral NSM as compared with unilateral SSM.
Patients who underwent immediate expander–implant breast reconstruction following unilateral NSM or SSM were included. Medical records of patients from April 2010 to February 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. Reconstruction-related complications such as infection, seroma, haematoma, delayed wound healing, and reconstruction failure were recorded. NAC outcome analysis was performed using preoperative and postoperative digital photographs for each patient. Patient satisfaction with the reconstructed breast and NAC was assessed using a study-specific questionnaire.
Delayed wound healing occurred in 18 of 55 NSM patients and 15 of 85 SSM patients (p = 0.040). Final reconstruction failure occurred in 0 NSM patients and 6 SSM patients (p = 0.043). The mean photography analysis score of total aesthetic outcome was 13.12 ± 2.39 in the NSM group and 14.06 ± 2.75 in the SSM group (p = 0.052). The mean questionnaire score of NAC position was 2.88 ± 0.85 in the NSM group and 3.80 ± 0.84 in the SSM group (p = 0.001). The mean questionnaire score of NAC sensitivity was 2.12 ± 0.58 in the NSM group and 1.84 ± 0.46 in the SSM group (p = 0.003). Satisfaction with the reconstructed breast was similar (p = 0.913) after NSM and SSM.
We observed no significant difference in breast reconstruction satisfaction between the NSM and SSM groups. Although overall satisfaction with breast reconstruction is high, patients in the NSM group often report dissatisfaction with nipple position. With a favourable score for NAC position, skin-sparing mastectomy followed by NAC reconstruction can be considered as a balanced alternative to NSM for properly selected patients with breast cancer.
Level of Evidence III
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KeywordsNipple-sparing mastectomy Skin-sparing mastectomy Breast reconstruction Nipple malposition Patient satisfaction
None of the authors has a financial interest in any of the products, devices, or drugs mentioned in this manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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