Skin Sparing

What Is A Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy?

Realizing the psychological impact of nipple loss, surgeons extended the concept of skin-sparing mastectomy to nipple-sparing mastectomy. In addition to retaining the native skin envelope, the nipple-sparing mastectomy also preserves the areola as well as the dermis and epidermis of the nipple while the underlying ducts are removed.

In more basic terms, a nipple-sparing mastectomy is a way to remove breast tissue, while saving the breast skin and nipple. As a result, this procedure causes much less scarring than a traditional mastectomy. During a nipple-sparing mastectomy, the surgeon removes any cancerous breast tissue through a small incision, usually around the areola area of the nipple, and then creates a natural skin envelope. This “pocket” is then filled with a breast implant or with tissue from another part of the patient’s body. In doing so, the nipple-sparing technique significantly enhances the cosmetic outcome of a mastectomy and provides the best results for breast reconstruction.

The nipple-sparing mastectomy may be an option in select patients, such as those undergoing prophylactic mastectomy for risk reduction. The risk of a retained occult malignancy is diminished by intra-operative frozen-section evaluation of the subareolar tissue. We encourage all women undergoing mastectomy to strongly consider nipple or skin-sparing procedures.

To learn more about this treatment and to schedule a consultation at our Chicago office, contact us by email or call today at (847) 967-5122.