Anamaria Parus, Mark L.Venturi
The single biggest advancement in the aesthetic outcome of breast reconstruction following mastectomy has been the contribution of nipple-sparing mastectomy. By preserving the nipple–areolar complex, patients do not experience the same sense of loss that is observed in the setting of skin-sparing mastectomy. Despite this significant contribution, the challenge remains as to how surgeons can extend this option to larger-breasted patients or patients with significant breast ptosis. Several strategies have been described, including reduction mammoplasty before mastectomy, bipedicled simultaneous mastopexy with mastectomy, and free nipple grafting. The authors have developed a novel approach to nipple-sparing mastectomy that preserves the nipple–areolar complex on a wide-based inframammary fold (IMF) flap and uses indocyanine green perfusion imaging to successfully and reliably perform nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction in larger-breasted ptotic patients. Six patients underwent bilateral nipple-sparing mastectomies and immediate breast reconstruction with a wide-based IMF flap. All patients underwent immediate reconstruction with prepectoral placement of tissue expanders to treat either breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), and all patients successfully completed exchange of expander to implant. There were no complications with infection, seroma, mastectomy flap, or nipple necrosis. Aesthetic results were in line with other nipple-sparing techniques. The wide-based IMF flap with nipple preservation is a viable option for larger-breasted ptotic patients who might not otherwise be candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomy. The approach described is a combination of surgical technique and indocyanine green perfusion technology to deliver reproducible results, with an emphasis on surgical safety and avoidance of complications.
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