A critical look at the effect of hyperbaric oxygen on the ischemic nipple following nipple sparing mastectomy and implant based reconstruction: a case series

John Shuck, Neil O’ Kelly, Matthew Endara, Maurice Y. Nahabedian


Background: Nipple preservation provides superior aesthetic results as well as patient satisfaction in patients treated with both therapeutic and prophylactic mastectomy. Post-operative nipple ischemia and necrosis presents a unique clinical challenge that may be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy or conservative measures alone. To date, the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen on post-operative nipple ischemia has yet to be evaluated.
Methods: A retrospective review of patients treated with either hyperbaric oxygen or conservative management was performed. Post-operative photographs were evaluated using a novel imaging data pathway to in both groups to determine rates of healing.
Results: Although patients treated with hyperbaric oxygen experienced rates of healing nearly twice those of patients treated with conservative measures alone, no statistical significance was found between groups in this series.
Conclusions: No significance difference was found between groups treated with hyperbaric oxygen or conservative management in this series. Further large scale, multi-center studies are warranted to further determine clinical utility and cost-effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen for nipple ischemia following nipple sparing mastectomy (NSM) and implant based reconstruction.