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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?

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?

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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When doing a mastectomy then reconstructing the breast, do they keep the original nipple or do they make a new one?

When doing a mastectomy then reconstructing the breast, do they keep the original nipple or do they make a new one?

Depending on: The disease , cancer cells can travel along ducts to nipple ares most of the time is removed to prevent recurrence of disease. And nipple is reconstructed , in genetic related prophylactic mastectomy where cancer did not develop yet , may be saved speak to your surgeon .. ...Read more

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

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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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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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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After nipple sparing mastectomy is it normal for nipple to get scabby and dark (i wouldn't say it is black)?

After nipple sparing mastectomy is it normal for nipple to get scabby and dark (i wouldn't say it is black)?

NotNormalButCommon: The challenge of nipple-sparing mastectomy is to remove as much tissue under the nipple without compromising its blood supply; what you are describing is a consequence of the latter. While it may be too early to tell, the nipple may end up ok. When this happens under my care, i advise applying neosporin every 4 hrs while awake--check w/your surgeon what they recommend. ...Read more

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Please explain why is nipple sensation more often lost with bilateral mastectomy and not augmentation?

Different: The surgical fields and tissues involved are different in that the location and direction of nerves is not involved with implants usually. ...Read more

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Why is nipple sensation more often lost with bilateral mastectomy, but not augmentation?

Why is nipple sensation more often lost with bilateral mastectomy, but not augmentation?

Bigger operation: Mastectomy involves removing as much breast tissue as possible, either removing the nipple & areola or, occasionally keeping them but scraping as much breast tissue out just underneath. Either of these approaches will disrupt the nerves to that area. With augmentation, no tissue is removed; depending on scar and implant location, it should have minimal effects on the nipple-areolar tissue. ...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