What is a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy?

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy is the most advanced mastectomy technique, which saves the entire breast skin and the nipple-areola while removing only the underlying cancer-affected breast tissues. Through a small incision around the nipple, breast tissues are removed and then replaced with breast implants or tissue from another part of the body to fill the breast pocket.

The Best Candidates for Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy is the best option for women whose cancer is confined to the underlying breast tissue and not the skin. Good candidates for this procedure should:

  • Have early-stage breast cancer
  • Be seeking prophylactic mastectomy
  • Have cancer placed several inches away from the nipple
  • Have realistic expectations

Risks Associated for Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

As proven by studies, Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy has the same risk of cancer recurrence with traditional mastectomy. Likewise, though unlikely, the procedure may potentially cause interruption of blood supply to the nipple, which can result in nipple loss if not performed properly. However, our experienced plastic surgeons will take all precautions to minimize risks.

Preparing for Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Your preparation starts with your first consultation with Dr. Roehl. For a quick overview of what happens during your consultation, visit our consultation page. Patients must be in the best shape possible if they are to undergo this surgery. Click here to learn how to prepare for your surgery.

At times, Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy is accompanied by a sentinel node biopsy. Prior to the surgery, either a radioactive substance or blue dye (or both) will be administered to your breasts for our surgeon to detect and pinpoint the exact location of the affected nodes.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy Length

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy is generally done with an oncologist (cancer expert) and takes between 1-2 hours. It is done completely under general anesthesia for the patient’s comfort.

After Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Patients can expect a significant amount of numbness around the nipple and breast area after the procedure. The sensation may come back, but for some, it can be permanent.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy Recovery Time

The recovery period for patients after a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy is usually 3-5 weeks. Patients can resume their normal activities as early as the 3rd week, on the condition that they feel good and comfortable. Read Dr. Roehl’s post-operative instructions here.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy Scarring

Scarring for this procedure is less than a traditional mastectomy. It can be primarily found around part of the areola, under the breast crease, or in some cases, near the side of the breasts.

Your New Look After Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Memorial Plastic Surgery – Clear Lake provides excellent Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy – giving the best possible aesthetic results without compromising the cancer treatment you will receive. Undergoing the procedure enables patients to enjoy the same look and feel of their breasts prior to their cancer treatment – boosting their self-esteem and confidence. If you think you are a candidate for the Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy procedure, click here to get started.


*The content and images on this page are provided with the sole intention of educating potential patients on the procedure discussed above. Results vary per individual and are dependent on our doctor’s consultation prior to the procedure. We strongly recommend undergoing a formal consultation with a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon prior to scheduling and undergoing any surgical or non-surgical treatment.