Having to get a mastectomy is devastating. Losing a breast to cancer raises lots of questions about your femininity, often leading to self-image issues. You can get breast reconstruction, but your breast is never the same. The latest trend is a nipple-sparing mastectomy with implants. Performed at the same time as your mastectomy, the surgery lets you keep your nipple and some breast skin to create a more natural replacement. See if you qualify for this advanced procedure by calling Rowe Plastic Surgery in New Jersey and New York City for a consultation.
Page Updated on May 31, 2022 by Dr. Norman Rowe (Plastic Surgeon) of Rowe Plastic Surgery
Why Is Nipple-Sparing Surgery Needed?
A mastectomy, which is the removal of breast tissue, is one of the most effective treatments for breast cancer. About 13 percent of women in the U.S. are at risk of invasive breast cancer. Eventually, many of these women have their breast tissue removed as part of treatment for early-stage breast cancer. While recovering from a mastectomy, many women opt for breast reconstruction, which restores their figure, providing a boost in self-esteem.
But removing the entire breast or most of the breast tissue causes a myriad of problems. For a start, a mastectomy often leads to a loss of self-confidence because of self-image problems. Without two breasts, you can also experience intimacy problems.
There is a better way. A nipple-sparing mastectomy is a type of advanced mastectomy. In the procedure, the skin on your breast, nipple and the areola are left intact and still attached to the blood supply. Your nipple and breast skin are then used in an immediate breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, delivering great results.
What Are the Advantages of a Skin-Sparing Mastectomy?
A skin-sparing and nipple-sparing mastectomy provides the foundation for a successful breast reconstruction. Modern breast reconstruction procedures that use your own breast skin and nipple tend to produce the best results. And your cosmetic surgeon works closely with your breast cancer surgeon to ensure the procedure is both safe and effective.
To have the procedure done right, locate the best breast surgeons in the New York City Metropolitan area. The board certified plastic surgeons at Rowe Plastic Surgery in Manhattan, Long Island, New Jersey and the Hamptons help you overcome breast problems through multiple advanced procedures, including:
What is a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy with Implants?
Nipple-sparing mastectomy with implants is an immediate breast reconstruction procedure. That means the reconstruction occurs at the same time as your mastectomy. In this advanced breast reconstruction technique:
Your breast cancer surgeon removes your breast tissue, but leaves the skin and nipple intact.
Your plastic surgeon then creates a pocket in your breast to be filled with transplanted tissue or a breast implant.
Your doctor maintains your nipple and skin tissue while inserting breast implants to rebuild the shape and size of your breast.
You can choose a single breast or double mastectomy with implants.
Even you have only one breast removed, you can still choose to get the implants on both breasts for your desired appearance of a larger bust. If you plan to have a mastectomy, ask your doctor about immediate breast reconstruction with implants. When combined with this nipple-sparing technique, your breast reconstruction procedure can produce great, natural-looking results.
Who’s a Good Candidate for This Procedure?
If you receive a breast cancer diagnosis, the news can be overwhelming, as is the news that you may have to lose one of your breasts. If your doctor recommends a mastectomy, a nipple-sparing mastectomy with implants is an option to consider. But the procedure isn’t suited for every woman who needs a mastectomy. Some factors that make you a good candidate for a nipple-sparing mastectomy with breast augmentation include:
Your breast cancer doctor has recommended prophylactic mastectomy, which is the removal of one or both breasts to
reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
The cancerous cells are located away from your nipples.
You have a relatively small tumor that’s peripherally located within your breast.
Your cancer tumor is not aggressive.
You haven’t been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, such as inflammatory breast cancer, which often involves your skin.
You have otherwise good overall health with no conditions that can prevent fast healing, such as diabetes.
You’re not a smoker.
You haven’t had a previous radiation treatment.
Every patient at Rowe Plastic Surgery receives individualized treatment. The staff is committed to delivering the best results in your cosmetic procedures. The surgeons evaluate your medical reports and assess your breasts to determine whether you’re a good candidate for nipple-sparing mastectomy during your initial consultation.
What’s the Goal of a Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy with Implants?
A nipple-sparing mastectomy with implants is a revolutionary development in this type of treatment for breast cancer. Millions of women benefit from a mastectomy, but with nipple sparing, their breast reconstruction can provide even better results. The goals of nipple-sparing mastectomy with implants include:
Get more natural-looking breasts after a mastectomy through your breast reconstruction
Improve the size and shape of your reconstructed breasts after a mastectomy
Improve your body appearance with shapely, full breasts
Boost your self-image and self-esteem more than other breast cancer survivors
Reduce the amount of scarring after mastectomy by leaving the nipple and breast skin tissue intact
After your mastectomy, nipple tissue goes to a lab even as your breast reconstruction procedure continues, reducing the
risk of a cancer recurrence with a thorough nipple tissue screening
Rowe Plastic Surgery is a top New York City and New Jersey cosmetic breast practice with facilities in Manhattan, Plainview and Water Mill, NY, as well as in Red Bank and Montclair, NJ. Your surgeon discusses your expectations extensively during your initial consultation. The surgery team appreciates the difficult period you have to go through during a mastectomy with implant reconstruction.
What Can I Expect from This Procedure?
Your cosmetic surgeon discusses every aspect of your mastectomy and implant surgery at your first meeting. While some of your details may differ, the procedure follows a series of steps that stays consistent. During a mastectomy nipple-sparing surgery, you can expect:
Consultation and evaluation. Your cosmetic surgeon examines your cancer doctor’s assessment. The information guides the decision to qualify you for a nipple-sparing mastectomy. Your doctor evaluates the breast to be removed and then develops a treatment plan.
Preparation. To prepare for a nipple-sparing mastectomy, follow the instructions from your breast cancer surgeon and your plastic surgeon. You may need to stop taking blood thinning medication. You need to avoid eating for eight to 12 hours before the surgery and prepare for a hospital stay after the procedure.
Anesthesia. Once you’re prepped and in the surgical suite, an anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia so you sleep through the procedure.
Incisions. The breast cancer surgeon makes an inframammary incision along the fold at the base of your breast.
Tumor removal. The surgeon removes the entire tumor through the opening, along with surrounding breast tissue. Your nipple, areola and some skin tissue remain attached to your chest.
Biopsies. Your breast cancer surgeon takes tissue samples and lymph nodes to the laboratory for analysis.
Breast reconstruction. Your breast reconstruction surgeon takes over and uses the same incision to reshape your breast.
Breast implants. The nipple-sparing mastectomy involves breast reconstruction using implants, skin tissue and sometimes saline-filled expandable implants. After inserting the implants and reshaping your breasts, your cosmetic surgeon closes the incision.
Dressing. To drain any excess liquid, the surgeon connects a tube to the surgery site through the incision. The plastic surgeon then wraps your reconstructed breast with a protective dressing.
Using implants is known as prophylactic breast augmentation. If you have any concerns about prophylactic mastectomy pros and cons, prophylactic mastectomy cost, implant-related complications, your recovery from this procedure or other issues, talk to the compassionate surgeons at Rowe Plastic Surgery.
How Long Is the Recovery after Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy with Implants?
After your surgery, the surgeons transfer you to a hospital ward, where you awake once the anesthesia subsides. You can expect a recovery process that includes:
Drowsiness. Because of the effects of your sedation, you feel drowsy and tired. It’s normal and passes quickly.
Bruises. Expect some post-surgery swelling and bruising. Your doctor can prescribe pain medication to relieve the discomfort.
A hospital stay. One night’s stay at the hospital is enough to confirm you are healing properly. Arrange to have a friend or family member meet you on your release after surgery so they can drive you home and stay with you for a day or so.
The surgical support bra. You’re required to wear a special support bra for several weeks after the surgery to promote healing and hold your new breast in place.
Stiffness. You can expect some stiffness in your shoulders. Gently stretch the shoulders to regain your full range of motion.
Back to work. In a week’s time, you can resume normal activities, but avoid strenuous tasks and heavy lifting.
Full recovery. Your full recovery can take as long as four to six weeks.
Nipple sensation. Your nipple sensation may take longer to recover, but sensitivity will return.
Scarring. The scarring is visible after the surgery, but it eventually fades over the course of the next year.
Before your surgery, your breast cancer surgeon and your breast reconstruction specialist explain the recovery process. If you experience any complications at home, call or visit the practice. You can even reach your surgeon via a video call. The top surgery team at Rowe Plastic Surgery ensures a fast and successful recovery.
Let’s hear What they say
Such an amazing staff every single one of them
Such an amazing staff every single one of them from the moment I reached out to them, they worked closely with me every step of the way, as a transwoman it’s very difficult navigating the world of plastic surgery for fear of discrimjation, but Rowe plastic surgery made sure I felt comfortable and welcomed, they were very understanding, respectful and compassionate!!
I have had the most incredible experience
I am so, so grateful for everyone at this office! I have had the most incredible experience with my breast reduction thanks to Dr. Schneider, Lisa, Michele and the rest of this staff. I had trouble getting my surgery covered by other offices and I ended up getting it covered through this office. I felt very comfortable and confident in Dr. Schneider after having my consultation with her and am so beyond happy with the results of my surgery! I got my surgery a month ago and Lisa and the rest of the staff have been extremely available at all times for any questions or concerns I was having afterwards. I have recommended this office to many people. They are so amazing!
Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy with Implants FAQs
How long does the surgery take? The procedure combines two distinct surgeries and procedures. The combination surgery can take from one to two hours.
Is nipple-sparing mastectomy with Implants safe? The procedure is very safe. Your doctor only approves you for it after confirming that there’s no risk of retaining cancerous tissue during your nipple-sparing mastectomy.
How long does it take to recover from a nipple-sparing mastectomy with implants? Initial recovery takes a week or two, but full recovery takes about two months, after which you see the results of the procedure. Your scars may take longer to fade.
How much does it cost? This is an extensive breast surgery that involves a massive removal of tissues and then the breast reconstruction. On the lower side, expect to pay about $37,000, but the cost can reach $90,000 for very extensive procedures.
Will insurance cover the cost of a nipple sparing mastectomy with implants? Under the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA), your insurance provider must cover the reconstruction of your breast after a mastectomy. Your doctors help you to file any paperwork required.
Who’s the best plastic surgeon to perform the surgery? To find the best plastic surgeon to carry out the procedure, look for one who’s board certified and experienced in nipple sparing with implants. Look through the surgeon’s portfolio. Look for a plastic surgeon who’s also well recognized in the industry. The surgeons at Rowe Plastic Surgery in New Jersey and New York City are among the best in the area.
Schedule My Consultation
If you plan to have a preventive mastectomy, a nipple-sparing mastectomy with implants improves the results of your breast reconstruction. Contact the plastic surgeons at Rowe Plastic Surgery. They use their experience and the latest medical technology for the safest and most effective breast surgery procedures.
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