Latest Technology in
Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital

Since our hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, our skillful medical professionals can perform nipple-sparing mastectomy with minimal postoperative risks. Our surgeons have vast experience in performing this procedure, so you can rest assured that your health is in good hands. You will benefit from a fast recovery in a warm and compassionate environment, as we place great emphasis on the comfort and well-being of our patients. We have been providing quality healthcare to the community of Los Angeles since 1969 and are bound to do the same for you if you need a nipple-sparing mastectomy.

The purpose of nipple-sparing mastectomy is to treat breast cancer and during this procedure, the entire breast tissue will be removed. While in the past, this surgery would leave the patient with a long, unsightly scar across the chest, nowadays, under innovative medical technology, you can experience minimally invasive nipple-sparing mastectomy.

Every year, over 100,000 women in the United States undergo mastectomy. Approximately 8% of mastectomies are nipple-sparing, which means that the nipple is not resected during the surgery. Consequently, nipple-sparing mastectomy leaves in place most of the healthy breast skin, the nipple, and the areola, as only the tissue contained within the envelope of skin around the breast is removed.

However, to be a good candidate for this surgical procedure, your cancer must not be in the nipple or the tissue underneath it. It is worthy of note that some women undergo nipple-sparing mastectomy as a preventive measure if they have a high risk of developing breast cancer. Following the removal of the breast tissue, implants will be placed under the skin so that the breast will be reconstructed.

On the day your nipple-sparing mastectomy is scheduled, you will come to our hospital, where you will change into a gown. Subsequently, our team of medical professionals will explain what the surgery entails to you and will thoroughly answer your questions. They will also ask you about any allergies you may have to certain medications to avoid a potential hypersensitive reaction. You will then be taken to the operating room, where you will receive general anesthesia, which will make you fall asleep completely.

Afterward, the surgeon will make a small incision in the skin around your breast and they will carefully remove the entire breast tissue along with the malignant tumor. Samples of tissue and lymph nodes will be sent to the laboratory to be examined by a pathologist under the microscope for the presence of cancer. Then, a reconstructive surgeon comes into the picture, who will reshape the remaining skin.

Your breast will be reconstructed using implants, tissue, or temporary chest expanders. Finally, the incision is closed using sutures and a small plastic tube may be placed in the incision to help drain the excess fluid that may build up in your breast following surgery.

The main benefit of nipple-sparing mastectomy is that you will be free of cancer. However, to make sure no malignant cells remain in your body, you may be recommended to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy following surgery. Below are the other benefits of nipple-sparing mastectomy:

  • you will have your natural skin, including the nipple and areola, after surgery
  • the scar will be hidden on the underside of the breast or in another location
  • the surgeon can use the skin in a breast reconstruction procedure to make the breast look more natural
  • you will have a small scar instead of a large one if you undergo this procedure
  • the ability to preserve a part of the body may help improve the symptoms of depression that often accompany breast cancer and mastectomy
  • the reconstructed breast will look natural

Usually, women who underwent a nipple-sparing mastectomy will have to spend 1 or 2 nights in the hospital. The majority of patients will be relatively functional after going home and can often return to their normal activities within 4 weeks. Nevertheless, the recovery time will be longer if breast reconstruction was performed as well, which means that it can take several months to return to your usual routine.

The following are the risks and health complications of nipple-sparing mastectomy, which occur very rarely if the procedure was performed correctly:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • pain
  • swelling in the arm
  • a buildup of fluid at the surgery site
  • shoulder pain and stiffness
  • numbness
  • hard scar tissue at the area of the surgery
  • tissue damage