Nipple-sparing Mastectomy

This video segment discusses nipple-sparing mastectomy for breast cancer by surgical oncologists from Case Western Reserve Hospital. This procedure is not applicable for most women facing a total mastectomy and breast reconstruction. However, in carefully selected patients where there is minimal risk for leaving breast cancer behind, it can be an option for women. We have published very good results from our experience at the Avon Foundation Breast Center at Johns Hopkins. A lot of surgical skill goes into doing this procedure correctly.

Here’s more information from

A mastectomy is necessary for larger tumors or scattered tumors in the breast. Treatment guidelines developed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommend that women with stage IIIA, IIIB, or IIIC breast cancer receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy before mastectomy. Some women with small tumors may wish to have a mastectomy because it offers greater peace of mind about recurrences in the breast or late complications associated with radiation. A mastectomy instead of lumpectomy may also be desired in order to avoid the need for breast radiation therapy altogether.

Because of advances in surgical techniques and knowledge about breast cancer, most mastectomies performed today are much less extensive and disfiguring than those done a decade or two ago. Mastectomy once meant removal of the entire breast with cancer, the chest wall muscles underneath the breast, and all the axillary nodes. This type of mastectomy is called a radical mastectomy, and it is rarely done, and only for extensive tumors or tumors that have invaded the chest wall. Most often, a total mastectomy is performed, which preserves the underlying muscles.

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