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Clinical outcomes following nipple–areola-sparing mastectomy with immediate implant-based breast reconstruction: a 12-year experience with an analysis of patient and breast-related factors for complications

  • Epidemiology
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Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) is increasingly offered to women for therapeutic and prophylactic indications. Although, clinical series have been described, there are few studies describing risk factors for complications. The objective of this study is to evaluate the incidence of complications in a series of consecutive patients submitted to NSM and differences between clinical risk factors, breast volume, and different incision types. In a cohort-designed study, 158 reconstructed patients (invasive/in situ cancer and high risk for cancer) were stratified into groups based on different types of incision used (hemi-periareolar, double-circle periareolar, and Wise-pattern). They were matched for age, body mass index, associated clinical diseases, smoking, and weight of specimen. Also included were patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and postoperative radiotherapy. Mean follow-up was 65.6 months. In 106 (67 %) patients, NSM was performed for breast cancer treatment and in 52 (32.9 %) for cancer prophylaxis. Thirty-nine (24.6 %) patients were submitted to hemi-periareolar technique, 67 (42.4 %) to double-circle periareolar incision, and 52 (33 %) to Wise-pattern incision. The reconstruction was performed with tissue expander and implant–expander. Local recurrence rate was 3.7 % and the incidence of distant metastases was 1.8 %. Obese patients and higher weight of specimen had a higher risk for complications. After adjusting risk factors (BMI, weight of specimen), the complications were higher for patients submitted to hemi-periareolar and Wise-pattern incisions. This follow-up survey demonstrates that NSM facilitates optimal breast reconstruction by preserving the majority of the breast skin. Selected patients can have safe outcomes and therefore this may be a feasible option for breast cancer management. Success depends on coordinated planning with the oncologic surgeon and careful preoperative and intraoperative management. Surgical risk factors include incision type, obesity, and weight of breast specimen.

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Skin-sparing mastectomy


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Latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap


Transversus rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap


Body mass index


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We would like to thank Angela Paes for statistical analysis, Teresa Curi for English revision and Rodrigo Tonan for the illustration.

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Correspondence to Alexandre Mendonça Munhoz.

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Munhoz, A.M., Aldrighi, C.M., Montag, E. et al. Clinical outcomes following nipple–areola-sparing mastectomy with immediate implant-based breast reconstruction: a 12-year experience with an analysis of patient and breast-related factors for complications. Breast Cancer Res Treat 140, 545–555 (2013).

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