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Modified technique for nipple-areolar reconstruction: a case series

David Parker Bogue, Anil K Mungara, Mike Thompson, Paul S Cederna
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2003, 112 (5): 1274-8
Thousands of women undergo postmastectomy breast reconstruction each year. Part of the reconstruction of an aesthetically pleasing breast is a high-quality nipple-areolar reconstruction. The goals for this reconstruction include appropriate nipple projection, areolar color, and areolar texture. Presented in this article is a novel technique that achieves these goals without the need for harvesting a distant skin graft. The nipple-areolar reconstruction is performed under local anesthesia. A skate flap is designed to achieve the nipple reconstruction. The skate flap donor sites are closed primarily, and the outline of the areola is then defined with a round template. The skin is then incised at the border of the areola, and a full-thickness graft is elevated to the base of the reconstructed nipple. After hemostasis is achieved, the skin graft is placed back down in its original position and a bolster dressing is applied. Tattooing is performed 4 months postoperatively to achieve a color match. Twenty-four consecutive patients underwent 31 nipple-areolar reconstructions using this novel technique. All patients achieved excellent results without complications. One patient did experience a partial skate flap loss; however, the wound healed secondarily without the need for revision. The technique described herein can achieve the goals of nipple-areolar reconstruction, including appropriate nipple projection, areolar color, and areolar texture, without the need for a distant skin graft.

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