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Doctor insights on: Will I Be Able To Keep My Nipples During A Mastectomy

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Will I be able to keep my nipples during a mastectomy?

Will I be able to keep my nipples during a mastectomy?

May or may not: Most commonly a mastectomy for breast cancer includes removal of the nipple and areola. There is a type of mastectomy called nipple sparing mastectomy. This procedure may not be appropriate for cancer treatment in many situations. You need to talk to your breast surgeon to see if your condition is suitable for this procedure. Not all surgeons do this procedure. ...Read more

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Nipple (Definition)

A nipple also known mammary papilla or teat is a small projection of skin containing the outlets for 15–20 lactiferous ducts. Its at the apex or top or breast ...Read more


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If the nipples are removed during a mastectomy, can they be reattached?

No: When patients undergo standard mastectomy, the nipples are removed and cannot be reattached. A better option in select patients would be to undergo a nipple-sparing mastectomy, which allows for preservation of the nipple and areola during mastectomy without removing them. For patients who have had the nipple removed during mastectomy, nipple reconstruction is available. ...Read more

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If a woman has a mastectomy, are the nipples removed also?

Yes: All the time , some times spared in prophylatic mastectomy , due to gentic defects where the tumor(s) did not develop yet. ...Read more

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When you have a mastectomy will they remove the nipples too?

Usually: But recently not always .There are nipple sparing techniques that are being followed very closely by the surgical community. Patients have to meet very specific criteria to be candidates for nipple sparing mastectomies as the goal is to not leave any cancer behind as well as provide the best cosmetic result. ...Read more

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I wanted to know when you have a mastectomy like angelina, do they remove the nipples too?

Not always.: The nipple has a small amount of breast tissue and can develop a cancer rarely. To truly remove all the breast tissue, the nipple has to go. In the case with angelina, here surgery was prophylactic meaning there was not any cancer present, she had the surgery to reduce the risk. In that setting some of the plastic surgeons who do reconstruction surgery will request that the nipples be undisturbed. ...Read more

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Can I have a mastectomy without removing the nipple?

Yes withreservations: Nipple saving mastectomy is often done in brca 1 or2 (genetically positive) patients(before cancer diagnosis) or in any patients withdcis or small- less than approx. 2 cm cancers- all at least 2 cm away from areola margin , no extensive dcis, no blood vessel invasion, no skin-muscle invasion .... No clinically positive lymph nodes under arm.But bra -cup size-must be: a or b cup, or not ptotic c cup. ...Read more

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Could mastectomy involve nipple removal?

Yes: Many times mastectomy means removal of the nipple. There is a nipple sparing mastectomy that can be done. I would suggest this be discussed with your surgeon. ...Read more

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Can the nipple be spared when having a mastectomy?

In most cases: A nipple sparing mastectomy can be performed for most women. At the time of surgery, a biopsy will be done of the tissue just behind your nipple; if this shows cancer, then your doctor will remove the nipple. It is not a good idea for women with large tumors, those with inflammatory cancer and women with tumors close to or involving the skin. See a breast surgeon or surgical oncologist. ...Read more

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Remove the nipples when they do a simple mastectomy?

Usually: The gold standard oncologic mastectomy still includes removal of all the glandular tissue including the nipple/areolar complex since the ducts insert into the tip of the nipple. Leaving the nipple thus means leaving a minimal amount of breast tissue. Nipple sparing mastectomies are being done on an investigational basis for small tumors away from the nipple understanding the above. ...Read more

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Please explain why is the nipple removed in mastectomy?

Spread of cancer: Cells travel alonthe ducts to the nepple , may get recurrence , some times as in paget, s disease nipple is already involved. In prophylatic mastectmy where cancer did not appear ( brca genetic cancer ) some times nipple is spared. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
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Mastectomy (Definition)

A mastectomy is complete removal of all visible breast tissue. Different variations exist, some of which spare some or all of ...Read more