Total skin-sparing mastectomy (TSSM) techniques with preservation of the nipple-areolar complex (NAC) skin are becoming increasingly popular due to improved cosmesis without compromise in oncologic safety. However, these techniques are not routinely offered to patients who have undergone previous breast surgery involving circumareolar incisions due to concern for NAC viability.
We reviewed the outcomes of TSSM in 11 patients who underwent 21 TSSM procedures at our institution between 2008 and 2011. All patients had undergone previous breast surgery including reduction mammaplasty (7 breasts), mastopexy (4 breasts), augmentation (3 breasts), and combined mastopexy-augmentation (7 breasts). Incisions from previous breast surgery included circumareolar (11 cases) and Wise pattern (10 cases) incisions. All patients underwent TSSM through an inframammary incision followed by immediate tissue expander reconstruction and subsequent implant exchange. Patient demographics, previous breast surgery details, tumor and treatment characteristics, and postoperative complications were reviewed.
Mean patient age was 43 years (range, 35–53 years) and mean body mass index was 24 kg/m2 (range, 19–32 kg/m2). Mean follow-up was 10.2 months (range, 3–20 months).
Indications for TSSM included prophylactic risk reduction in 10 cases, in situ cancer in 2 cases, and invasive cancer in 9 cases. Mean time from previous breast surgery to mastectomy was 6.9 years (range, 6 months–26 years). Major complications requiring operative reintervention included 1 (4.8%) case of cellulitis requiring expander removal and 2 (9.5%) cases of wound breakdown requiring operative closure. There were no complications involving the NAC.
Total skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction can safely be performed in patients who have undergone previous breast surgery involving circumareolar incisions. Our preferred technique in this group of patients is to perform TSSM through an inframammary incision with 2-stage expander-implant reconstruction to minimize NAC ischemia and subsequent complications.