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Nipple-areolar complex (NAC) malposition is one of the most common complications following nipple-sparing mastectomy with implant-based reconstruction. To maximize perfusion to the NAC, traditional methods of correcting NAC malposition limit undermining below the NAC. We demonstrate a series of cases in which improvement of NAC malposition was safe...

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Article
Prepectoral prosthetic breast reconstruction continues to gain popularity, largely due to its decreased postoperative pain, animation deformity, and operative time as compared to subpectoral reconstruction. Widespread use has led to opportunities for surgical revisions. While some techniques for submuscular reconstruction revisions, such as implant exchange and fat grafting, also apply to prepectoral revisions, others require modification for the prepectoral space. The prosthesis’ unique reliance on the mastectomy flaps and acellular dermal matrix for support leads to a progressive alteration of the breast footprint, conus, envelope, and nipple-areola complex position. To date, revisions of prepectoral reconstructions have not been addressed in the literature. This article presents the senior author’s (N.P.B.) techniques for (1) revising prepectoral breast reconstructions, including staged and direct-to-implant reconstructions, with a special focus on nipple-sparing reconstruction, and (2) minimizing undesirable outcomes of prepectoral reconstruction.
Article
Breast reconstruction with immediate placement of breast implants (direct-to-implant methods) following nipple-sparing mastectomy has increased because of the low burden on the patient and good aesthetic results. However, nipple–areolar complex (NAC) malposition after this surgery remains a common complication that has yet to be entirely resolved. Here, we introduce an approach using Duoactive CGF to prevent postoperative NAC malposition. Immediate postoperative fixation of Duoactive CGF cranially to the NAC of the operated breast was applied for 2–4 weeks. This is referred to as a breast splint. In the study, nine patients who received breast splints and 15 patients who did not were enrolled. The NAC position on the splint-treated breast was compared with that on the healthy side within 6 months after surgery. A case with little visual malposition was defined as having a good outcome, based on the deviation in the cranial direction not exceeding the position of the contralateral NAC. Our preliminary data demonstrated that the rate of good outcomes was significantly higher (P = 0.028) in cases in which a breast splint was used, compared with those that were not treated with a breast splint (7/9, 78.8% versus 4/15, 26.7%). Postoperative application of a breast splint using Duoactive CGF is a simple and useful method to prevent NAC malposition after breast reconstruction, using a direct-to-implant method.
Article
Background: Nipple-sparing mastectomy has been associated with superior aesthetic outcomes and oncologic safety. However, traditional contraindications, such as breast ptosis/macromastia, have excluded a large number of patients. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a staged approach would expand the indications for nipple-areolar complex preservation and permit greater control over nipple-areolar complex position and skin envelope following autologous reconstruction. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of female patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer or BRCA mutation with grade 2 or 3 ptosis and/or macromastia who underwent bilateral (oncoplastic) reduction/mastopexy (stage 1) followed by bilateral nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction with free abdominal flaps (stage 2). The authors were specifically interested in the incidence of mastectomy skin necrosis and nipple-areolar complex necrosis and malposition following stage 2. Results: Sixty-one patients with a mean age of 45.1 years (range, 28 to 62 years) and mean body mass index of 32.6 kg/m (range, 23.4 to 49.0 kg/m) underwent reconstruction with 122 flaps. The mean interval between stage 1 and 2 was 16.9 weeks (range, 3 to 31 weeks). Clear margins were obtained in all cases of invasive cancer and in situ disease following stage 1. Complications following stage 2 included partial nipple-areolar complex necrosis (n = 5, 8.2 percent), complete nipple-areolar complex necrosis (n = 4, 6.6 percent), nipple-areolar complex malposition (n = 1, 1.6 percent), and mastectomy skin necrosis (n = 4, 6.6 percent). No flap loss was noted in this series. Conclusion: Patients with moderate to severe breast ptosis and/or macromastia who wish to undergo mastectomy with reconstruction can be offered nipple-sparing approaches safely if a staged algorithm is implemented. Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, IV.
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Nipple-sparing mastectomy continues to grow in popularity as oncologic indications for preserving the nipple areolar complex have become less stringent and more patients with genetic predispositions to breast cancer seek aesthetically superior prophylactic mastectomy reconstructions. Nonetheless, nipple malposition remains a common and disturbing complication. This article proposes several anatomic variations that predispose to nipple malposition and a strategy to avoid it through a reliable, easily reproducible method of preoperative marking and intraoperative stabilization.