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Nipple Reconstruction Using the C-V Flap Technique: A Long-Term Evaluation.

Losken, Albert M.D.; Mackay, Gregory J. M.D.; Bostwick, John III M.D.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
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Numerous procedures are available for nipple reconstruction with no true universal favorite. This study presents long-term follow-up data for nipple reconstruction using the C-V flap technique. Patients were identified by searching the Breast Reconstruction Database, and they were asked to return for a follow-up visit. All those who underwent nipple reconstruction using the C-V flap technique between January of 1992 and December of 1996 were reviewed in an attempt to conduct a long-term follow-up evaluation. The response was poor, and 11 patients participated in the study and returned for follow-up. They all completed a questionnaire, which focused on patient satisfaction using a visual analogue scale. Nipple measurements were taken with a caliper and compared with the opposite breast for symmetry. Fourteen nipple reconstructions were evaluated in 11 patients with an average follow-up of 5.3 years. All patients had undergone transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous (TRAM) flap reconstructions. Patient satisfaction was 42 percent with nipple projection, 62 percent with pigmentation, and 26 percent with sensation. Overall patient satisfaction with the procedure was 81 percent. Average nipple projection of the reconstructed nipple was 3.77 mm and was not statistically different when compared with the opposite nipple. Longterm subjective evaluation of the C-V flap technique does report a loss in nipple projection; however, overall patient satisfaction at 5.3 years is good, as is the ability to restore symmetry with the opposite breast. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 108: 361, 2001.)

(C)2001American Society of Plastic Surgeons