INTRODUCTION: Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) has known an exponential diffusion worldwide for prophilaxis and therapeutic mastectomies in selected candidates, being oncologically safe and improving reconstructive outcomes and patients' satisfaction. The two most common used skin incisions are the radial and inframammary fold ones, which represent an imperfect aesthetic solution. The aim of this work was to give insights on our surgical technique, which allows to perform the NSM, node surgery, and endoscopic direct-to-implant reconstruction using a cosmetic axillary incision.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between June 2016 and January 2019, 7 consecutive patients underwent NSM, lymph node surgery and endoscopic direct-to-implant reconstruction using a small cosmetic axillary incision for breast cancer treatment in a single Institution. An operative rigid endoscope with working channel (Richard Wolf) was used to dissect the entire submuscular-subfascial pocket. The mean age of the patients was 42.8 years old (range: 36-49 years). The evaluation methods were clinical and photography-based assessments, as well as the BREAST-Q which was used to quantify patient satisfaction.
RESULTS: The average follow-up time was 9 months (range 3-22 months). Tumor-free margins were obtained in all cases. No tumor recurrence or metastasis occurred during follow-up. No major complications were experienced. There were no cases of malposition, wrinkling, or rippling. All patients were satisfied with their esthetic results, especially the absence of visible scars.
CONCLUSIONS: From our preliminary experience, NSM combined with endoscopic immediate reconstruction via axillary incision for breast cancer treatment seems to be a promising new procedure in cup A and B breasts alternative to the conventional techniques, as it allowed to have safe and pleasant aesthetic and oncologic outcomes.