Nipple Sparing Mastectomy
Many women who need surgery for breast cancer qualify for a lumpectomy -- removal of the tumor and some surrounding area while preserving the breast. However, some women do require a mastectomy.. Breast cancer and the need for surgery is scary enough, but many women are just as frightened of being disfigured after surgery.
Nipple Sparing Mastectomy is an important option for some women who need a mastectomy. Not every woman needing a mastectomy is a good candidate, but some are. Be sure to discuss your options with your surgeon.
What is Nipple Sparing Mastectomy?
This type of mastectomy involves saving nipple, areolar and most of the skin, removing all the underlying breast tissue and reconstructing the breast immediately. In these situations Dr. Tejpar works directly with a plastic surgeon as a team so that reconstruction occurs immediately.
There is a chance that even with the surgery, the nipple might not survive because of lack of good blood supply to the nipple. While there are no guarantees, your chances are better with an experienced breast surgeon like Dr. Tejpar who in addition to her vast experience, has trained in the procedure. You may or may not have sensation in the nipple after the surgery even if the team is able to save it in the surgery.
Nipple Sparing Mastectomy can often be a viable option for women who have the BRCA gene and who choose preventative mastectomy. Women who have small tumors further away from the nipple may also be able to have this surgery.
Skin Sparing Mastectomy
Even if you are not a candidate for saving the nipple and areolar skin you may be a candidate for skin sparing mastectomy which allows for better reconstruction. Attempts are made to use smaller incisions in areas of the breast that are less visible. In skin sparing mastectomies, the nipple and areolar skin is removed along with interior breast tissue, saving the remaining skin to facilitate reconstruction.
Skin sparing mastectomy is not usually performed if you will not have immediate reconstruction, if there are cancer cells close to the skin or if you have inflammatory breast cancer.