Patients undergoing nipple-sparing mastectomy and immediate-implant based reconstruction occasionally require a mastopexy based on their breast size and degree of ptosis. Previous reports have shown the feasibility of mastopexy-nipple-sparing mastectomy in selected patients to raise the nipple up to 5 cm. Major mastopexy with nipple transposition more than 6 cm in conjunction with nipple-sparing mastectomy for therapeutic indications has not been described. The authors review their experience with primary buttonhole mastopexy performed in conjunction with nipple-sparing mastectomy.
Between 2008 and 2014, 16 patients (32 breasts) underwent bilateral primary mastopexy and nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate staged implant-based reconstruction. The Passot buttonhole technique was used for the mastopexy in all patients, raising the nipple from 7 to 12 cm. Tumor-related data, risk factors, breast size, degree of ptosis, expander size, fill volume, selection criteria, and complications are discussed.
The average follow-up period was 33 months (range, 14 to 80 months). There were no tumor recurrences, and all patients completed their reconstruction. Two patients required removal of the expander and delayed reconstruction because of infection and implant exposure due to nipple-areola loss. The reasons for nipple-areola loss and technical modifications to enhance skin viability by retaining a thin layer of subareolar breast tissue for removal during the second-stage implant exchange are discussed.
Primary mastopexy using the buttonhole technique performed together with nipple-sparing mastectomy is a safe procedure with predictable results in patients with very large or ptotic breasts requiring lifts greater than 6 cm. The success of the combined procedure depends on preserving a thin layer of subareolar breast tissue and removing it at the time of implant exchange.