Improved sub-areolar breast tissue removal in nipple-sparing mastectomy using hydrodissection

Secondo Folli, Annalisa Curcio, Federico Buggi, Matteo Mingozzi, Dario Lelli, Cristina Barbieri, Silvia Asioli, Maurizio Bruno Nava, Fabio Falcini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on a new technique of dissection of the nipple-areola-complex (NAC) in nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM). NACs removed due to the presence of tumor cells beneath them were histologically examined for the presence of normal breast glandular tissue. Cases were divided into cohort 1, where NACs were dissected by sharp isolation, coring the nipple, and cohort 2, where the same procedure was preceded by hydrodissection of the areola. In 20 (17.4%) cases the planned NSM was converted to skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) because of intraoperative findings of cancer in retro-areolar tissue. Histological examination of 20 NSMs converted to SSM showed the presence of glandular tissue in 12 out of 13 cohort 1 cases (92%) and in 1 out of 7 cohort 2 cases (14%). We conclude that hydrodissection creates a subdermal plane facilitating NAC dissection and permitting a more complete removal of breast tissue in NSM. Such radicality could prove important in the treatment of breast cancer and in BRCA 1-2 mutation carriers because of its potential for reducing the risk of relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Invasive breast cancer
  • NAC dissection
  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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