Modern Medicine: Nipple Sparing Mastectomy - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Modern Medicine: Nipple Sparing Mastectomy

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Panama City, Fla. -

Typically, a mastectomy involves removal of the breast tissue and nipple, but a new procedure called a Nipple Sparing Mastectomy changes that.

Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Phillip Nunnery says the technique allows for a better cosmetic outcome because the nipple and the skin of the breast are left intact.

"At the time of surgery, we remove the tissue underneath the nipple.  The tissue is evaluated by the pathologist in the operating room, and if there's any suspicion of cancer cells there, the nipple is removed.  If not, the nipple remains," explains Dr. Nunnery.  Dr. Nunnery says if the tissue is evaluated in this manner, it's a safe procedure. 

When the tissue is examined in the operating room, Dr. Nunnery explains that "there are ample studies to show there's no increased risk of having cancer return by leaving the nipple behind."

Susan Love was diagnosed with breast cancer a month ago.  She says the Nipple Sparing Mastectomy has helped her deal with the surgery.

"It's a big deal to me.  I wanted to preserve my nipples and my femininity.  It's important to me, and I think a lot of women," Love says.

Dr. Nunnery says the Nipple Sparing Mastectomy requires collaboration between the general surgeon and the plastic surgeon.  He says it also results in smaller incisions.