A less-invasive mastectomy has become a safe option for more breast cancer patients, who cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or who have risk factors for surgical complications, said Mayo Clinic study. In the procedure, known as a nipple-sparing mastectomy, surgeons remove breast tissue, leaving the skin, nipple and areola, and immediately rebuild the breasts. The findings are being presented at the American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting.
Researchers evaluated nipple-sparing mastectomy outcomes in 769 women who had the procedure between 2009 to 2017. In all, the surgery was performed on 1,301 breasts during the study period.
Complications within 30 days after surgery declined from 14.8% in 2009 to 6.3% in 2017, despite the fact that the procedure was offered to more women, including those whose cancer was locally advanced or who had surgical complication risk factors such as obesity or prior surgery, the study found.
"Offering enhanced aesthetics as a result of these surgeries to women who have had a devastating diagnosis is extremely rewarding," says senior study author Tina Hieken, M.D., a breast surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "Today, breast cancer patients who are not offered nipple-sparing procedures should ask their surgeons why. As this study shows, these surgeries are proving safe for a broad patient base."