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Can I Keep My Nipple? Factors Influencing the Surgical Decision between Skin-Sparing and Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

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Both skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) and nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) are well accepted in the management of breast cancer. Factors that influence the decision of choosing one of these techniques over the other, however, remain to be well elucidated. From January 2010 to December 2017, 734 patients at our institution underwent one of these two procedures. Factors differentiating these patient cohorts were compared. In this study, 196 (26.7%) underwent NSM and 538 (73.3%) underwent SSM. The median age of patients at the time of surgery was 50 years (range, 22‐78 years). On multivariate analysis, younger patient age, insurance type, BRCA+ mutation status, smaller breast size (by weight), and those who did not undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy were more likely to undergo NSM. Surgeon also was an independent predictor of whether patients had NSM or SSM. There may be many factors that play into the decision to pursue NSM versus SSM, but younger patient age, BRCA mutation status, breast size, and whether the patient had neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be key among them. Insurance status may also be a factor for some patients. Aside from these factors, some surgeons may be more or less inclined to perform NSM.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2019

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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