A Comparative Analysis of Outcomes of Free Nipple Areolar Grafting in Autologous Breast Reconstruction

Katie G Egan, Eric Lai, Julie Holding, James Butterworth

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Preserving the nipple areolar complex (NAC) increases satisfaction in breast reconstruction. This study aims to describe outcomes using free NAC grafts in microvascular breast reconstruction.

A case-control study evaluated prospective outcomes of microvascular breast reconstruction with free NAC grafts compared with matched controls with tattoo or local flap nipple reconstruction. Eligible patients for NAC grafting required correction of ptosis or nipple malposition. Postoperative photographs were rated for complications and aesthetics by the four study authors and two additional unbiased board-certified plastic surgeons. Satisfaction was measured with the BREAST-Q.

Nipple reconstruction can successfully be performed in microvascular breast reconstruction using free grafts. Although partial graft hypopigmentation is common, smaller areas of graft loss or depigmentation are anticipated and do not affect aesthetic outcomes. The use of free NAC grafts may allow additional patients to use their own nipples as part of their microvascular reconstruction and avoid secondary NAC reconstruction procedures.

Read the full article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33129212/ 

Jasmine Walter

Content Editor, Mark Allen Group

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