Overview of indications for nipple sparing mastectomy
The introduction of more targeted systemic therapies, better screening modalities with earlier diagnosis and dramatically improved reconstructive techniques has allowed more minimally invasive approaches to breast surgery. The recent introduction of nipple sparing mastectomy (NSM) has dramatically improved the cosmetic outcomes and quality of life (QoL) for patients undergoing mastectomy. This technique involves preservation of both the skin envelope including the nipple areolar complex commonly through a barely visible inframammary skin incision followed by immediate breast reconstruction. An ideal candidate includes women with small breasts, absence of ptosis, low BMI and not actively smoking. High risk patients include those with radiation treatment, active smokers, macromastia, high BMI >30 kg/m2, grade 2 or 3 ptosis and active smokers. There are several new techniques to approach complex high risk patients which have expanded the candidates for NSM.