Patient and Surgeon’s Concerns with Post-Mastectomy Nipple Reconstruction: An Alternative to Traditional Nipple Reconstruction

Gerald L. Klein*, Roger Morgan, William Heim and Nicholas Pashos

Patient and Surgeon’s Concerns with Post-Mastectomy Nipple Reconstruction: an alternative to traditional nipple reconstruction. The aim of this paper is to determine what women who undergo reconstructive surgery after mastectomy are seeking. It also answers the question, how plastic surgeons are attempting to fill this need.
A survey was undertaken of 84 plastic surgeons and 70 of their patients who underwent recent mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. All the material was deidentified before analysis.
The majority of the women wanted their breasts and nipples to be natural and have the same appearance or similar appearance. Women undergoing this type of surgery frequently develop a decreased quality-of-life which also affects their feeling of femininity, sexuality, and psychological well-being.
The post-surgery time period and the additional necessary treatments are extremely stressful events. The importance of their breast post-operative aesthetics correlated with their self-esteem and body image.
It is important for plastic surgeons to take these factors into consideration, when planning their reconstructive surgery. The diagnosis of breast cancer with the subsequent need for mastectomy and the additional burden of radiation. An Australian study found that approximately 40% of women undergoing a mastectomy felt a negative impact on their body image, sexual function, and quality-of-life.
These patients want to get back to being normal and a woman’s breasts are a vital part of her body image, since it is so closely aligned with her femininity, sexuality, and psychological well-being.
Another study finds that breast reconstruction surgery is associated with increased patient self-esteem and
greater sense of wholeness and well-being.

Clin Trial Pract Open J. 2023; 6(1): 1-7. doi: 10.17140/CTPOJ-6-124