Subcutaneous (Nipple-Sparing) Mastectomy
The removal of all the breast tissue under the skin of the breast is called a subcutaneous mastectomy. The nipple and areola will be left in place. The breast will usually be flat after the operation.
This type of mastectomy may be used to remove small areas of suspicious or cancerous tissue, but it can also be a cosmetic surgery procedure. For example, subcutaneous mastectomy can reduce the volume of enlarged male breasts or be part of a female-to-male sex-change procedure.
There are risks and complications with this procedure.
They include but are not limited to the following.
- Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
- Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood-thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
- Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
- Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
- Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart.
- Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases, part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
- Death as a result of this procedure is possible.