This is a variant of skin-sparing mastectomy where the nipple and areola or areola alone are preserved as well as the breast skin. Nipple-sparing mastectomy is recommended for removing tumours that are not present near the nipple-areola region. I usually require a 2 cm distance between the nipple and the cancer.
The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon makes a small incision under the breast. The breast tissue is hollowed out like a melon and the pocket is immediately filled with your own body tissue or a breast implant, or a tissue expander may be inserted, which maintains the space and size of the breast until reconstruction at a later stage.
Nipple-sparing mastectomy is a breast-conserving surgery that offers an improved cosmetic outcome compared to mastectomy and skin sparing mastectomy., as the breast does not have a large scar and there is no discrepancy in the shape of the breast as seen with mastectomy. However, as with any surgical procedure, nipple sparing mastectomy may involve certain risks and complications which include infection, bleeding and a loss of sensation in the nipple as well as loss of all or part of the nipple itself. I perform a biopsy under the nipple for all my nipple sparing mastectomies and if there is any signs of malignancy the nipple will be removed to guard against recurrence.