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Ann Surg Oncol. 2011 Oct;18(11):3117-22. doi: 10.1245/s10434-011-1974-y. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy for breast cancer and risk-reducing surgery: the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center experience.

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Breast Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.



Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) has been gathering increased recognition as an alternative to more traditional mastectomy approaches. Initially, questions concerning its oncologic safety limited the use of NSM. Nevertheless, mounting evidence supporting the practice of NSM for both prophylactic and oncologic purposes is leading to its more widespread use and broadened indications.


Using a prospectively maintained database, we reviewed our experience of 353 NSM procedures performed in 200 patients over the past 10 years.


The indications for surgery were: 196 prophylactic risk-reduction (55.5%), 74 ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (20.8%), 82 invasive cancer (23.2%), and 1 phyllodes tumor (0.5%). The nipple areolar complex (NAC) was entirely preserved in 341 mastectomies (96.7%). There were 11 patients (3.1%) who were found to have cancer at the nipple margin, warranting further excision. A total of 69 breasts (19.5%) had some degree of skin desquamation or necrosis, but only 12 (3.3%) required operative debridement, of which 3 breasts (1%) necessitated removal of a breast implant. Also, 6 patients (2%) were treated for infection. Of the 196 prophylactic NSMs, 11 specimens (5.6%) were found to harbor occult cancer (8 DCIS and 3 invasive cancers). One patient who underwent NSM for invasive ductal carcinoma in 2006 developed metastatic disease to her brain. No other recurrences are attributable to the 353 NSMs.


The trends demonstrate the increasing acceptance of NSM as a prophylactic procedure as well as for therapeutic purposes. Although NSM is not standard, our experience supports the selective use of NSM in both prophylactic and malignant settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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