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Nipple Sparing Mastectomy Specialist

Elizabeth Arena, MD

Board Certified Surgical Oncologist & Director, Breast Center at Surgery Group LA located in Los Angeles, CA

When you have breast cancer or a higher-than-average risk for breast cancer, a nipple-sparing mastectomy can help improve your outcomes while maintaining the aesthetic appearance of your breasts. Elizabeth Arena, MD, of Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, specializes in oncoplastic surgery, including nipple-sparing mastectomies. For a consultation, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Nipple Sparing Mastectomy Q & A

What is a nipple-sparing mastectomy?

A nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) is an oncoplastic surgical procedure that removes breast tissue while sparing the nipple and areola. NSM may be an option for women who have breast cancer, or those who have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, which places them at higher risk for having breast cancer.

The goal of NSM is to remove noncancerous or cancerous breast tissue without compromising the appearance of your breasts. Immediately after Dr. Arena removes your breast tissue, an expert plastic surgeon takes over to sculpt your breasts using advanced breast reconstruction techniques. 

NSM is fast becoming the gold standard for breast cancer treatment and prevention. As an extension to the skin-sparing mastectomy, this procedure offers women an alternative to a lumpectomy and radiation treatments, which can leave your breasts deformed.

By completing NSM before radiation or other cancer treatments, women have more favorable outcomes, less risk, and greater confidence in their bodies during their cancer journeys. In many cases, women who undergo NSM don’t require radiation or further treatment after surgery. Widely researched, this procedure is proven both safe and effective.

Who is a candidate for NSM?

During an initial consultation with Dr. Arena, she discusses your treatment options, which may include NSM. 

Ideal candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomy include:

  • Women without nipple or areola tumor involvement 
  • Women with tumors who have clear, cancer-free surrounding tissues
  • Women who test positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
  • Women without breast conditions such as inflammatory breast cancer, advanced breast cancer, or cancer involving the skin

Dr. Arena offers NSM for women with small or large breasts and may be combined with further breast reduction, lift, or addition of implants. 

What are the benefits of NSM?

Nipple-sparing mastectomy offers additional benefits compared to historical treatment options, including:

  • Keeping the nipple and areola for a more natural appearance
  • Decreased need for radiation and its side effects
  • Combined surgery for tissue removal and breast sculpting 
  • Hidden incisions and less evidence of breast surgery
  • Less overall risk of complications 
  • Breast reduction for those with large breasts
  • Improvement in sagging or drooping breasts
  • Lowered risk of having breast cancer, when done preventively 

As science and technology improve, NSM provides even greater potential for reducing breast cancer risk and treating cancerous tumors while preserving the shape and form of your breasts. For many women, NSM makes their journey toward preventing or fighting breast cancer easier.

To see how NSM may help you prevent or treat your breast cancer, call the office or schedule an appointment online with Elizabeth Arena, MD.