Surgical treatment of nipple malposition in nipple-sparing mastectomy device-based reconstruction

Kevin Small, Kathleen M. Kelly, Alexander Swistel, Briar L. Dent, Erin M. Taylor, Mia Talmor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: This article discusses the senior author's (M.T.) experience with nipple-areola complex malposition following nipple-sparing mastectomy, surgical options for treatment, and an analysis of risk factors. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted on a prospectively collected institutional review board-approved database of nipple-sparing mastectomy cases with immediate device-based reconstruction performed between July of 2006 and October of 2012. Malposition was graded as mild (1 cm), moderate (2 cm), or severe (>3 cm) displacement. RESULTS: Three hundred nineteen nipple-sparing mastectomies were reviewed. Malposition occurred in 44 (13.79 percent). Significant factors were age (p < 0.0001), diabetes mellitus (p = 0.0025), body mass index (p = 0.0093), preoperative sternal notch-to-nipple distance (p = 0.015), preoperative breast base width (p = 0.0001), periareolar mastectomy incision with lateral extension (p < 0.0001), prior radiation (p = 0.0004), prior lumpectomy (p = 0.0125), unilateral nipple-sparing mastectomy (p = 0.0004), and postoperative nipple-areola complex ischemia (p = 0.0174). Smoking status, breast volume resected, implant size, ablative surgeon, acellular dermal matrix, and single-stage reconstruction were not significant. Nineteen patients were satisfied. Eight were not offered surgical correction because of an inadequate skin envelope. Eight had crescent mastopexy, three had implant exchange and pocket revision, four had free nipple grafts, and two had pedicled nipple transposition. There were no incidences of necrosis or malposition after surgical correction. CONCLUSIONS: Nipple-sparing mastectomy followed by immediate device-based reconstruction has a risk of nipple malposition. Various surgical procedures are available to correct nipple malposition based on clinical presentation and are safe in certain populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1062
Number of pages10
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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