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Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 3350–3350 | Cite as

Revisiting the Free Nipple Graft: An Opportunity for Nipple Sparing Mastectomy in Women with Breast Ptosis

  • Jeremy R. Chidester
  • Andrea O. Ray
  • Sharon S. Lum
  • Duncan C. Miles
Breast Oncology

Abstract

Objective

Nipple areolar complex (NAC) sparing mastectomy improves the cosmetic outcome of patients with breast cancer. However, women with significant breast ptosis are not candidates for this technique due toexcessive skin flap length and ensuing risk of NAC ischemia.1 3 We report a novel technique using free nipple graft during skin sparing mastectomy for patients with significant ptosis while concurrently maintaining oncologic integrity.

Design

Case series.

Setting

Community and tertiary care hospital practices.

Patients

Women with breast cancer desiring NAC preservation who are otherwise candidates for nipple sparing mastectomy, but with significant breast ptosis that precludes NAC viability. All women underwent immediate, autologous breast reconstruction.

Interventions

Bilateral and unilateral free nipple grafts were harvested, placed on ice during skin sparing mastectomy and free flap reconstruction, grafted at the conclusion of the case and secured with a bolster.

Outcome Measures

Full or partial NAC preservation, ischemia time, local wound complications at NAC grafting site, pathologic outcomes.

Results

A total of three patients underwent free nipple grafting at the time of skin sparing mastectomy and free or pedicled flap for breast cancer between March and September 2012. Of five total nipple grafts, one had partial NAC loss but did not require operative debridement. Pathologic review of areolar tissue removed during intraoperative defatting of free nipple graft demonstrated residual duct epithelium.

Conclusions

Women with significant breast ptosis that would preclude them from NAC sparing mastectomy can successfully preserve their NAC using a free nipple graft. Duct epithelium present in defatted tissue during preparation of the free nipple graft suggests that oncologic integrity can also be maintained.

Keywords

Breast Cancer Nipple Nipple Areolar Complex Reduction Mammaplasty Areolar Tissue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MOV 211648 kb)

References

  1. 1.
    Kijima Y, et al. Oncoplastic surgery combining partial mastectomy with breast reconstruction using a free nipple-areola graft for ductal carcinoma in situ in a ptotic breast: report of a case. Surg Today. 2011;41(3):390–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Spear SL, Pelletiere CV, Wolfe AJ, et al. Experience with reduction mammaplasty combined with breast conservation therapy in the treatment of breast cancer. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2003;111(3):1102–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kijima Y, Yoshinaka H, Ishigami S, Hirata M, Kaneko K, Mizoguchi T, et al. Oncoplastic surgery for Japanese patients with ptotic breasts. Breast Cancer. 2010;18(4):273–81.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy R. Chidester
    • 1
  • Andrea O. Ray
    • 1
  • Sharon S. Lum
    • 2
  • Duncan C. Miles
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plastic SurgeryLoma Linda University Medical CenterLoma LindaUSA
  2. 2.Department of General SurgeryLoma Linda University Medical CenterLoma LindaUSA

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