Psychosocial and Sexual Well-Being Following Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy and Reconstruction
Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) is considered an oncologically safe option for select patients. As many patients are candidates for nipple-sparing or skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM), reliable patient-reported outcome data are crucial for decision-making. The objective of this study was to determine whether patient satisfaction and/or health-related quality of life (HRQOL) were improved by preservation of the nipple with NSM compared to SSM and nipple reconstruction. Subjects were identified from a prospectively maintained database of patients who completed the BREAST-Q following mastectomy and breast reconstruction between March and October 2011 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Fifty-two patients underwent NSM followed by immediate expander-implant reconstruction. A comparison group consisted of 202 patients who underwent SSM followed by immediate expander-implant reconstruction and later nipple reconstruction. HRQOL and satisfaction domains as measured by BREAST-Q scores were compared in multivariate linear regression analyzes that controlled for potential confounding factors. NSM patients reported significantly higher scores in the psychosocial (p = 0.01) and sexual well-being (p = 0.02) domains compared to SSM patients. There was no significant difference in the BREAST-Q physical well-being, satisfaction with breast, or satisfaction with outcome domains between the NSM and SSM groups. NSM is associated with higher psychosocial and sexual well-being compared to SSM and nipple reconstruction. Preoperative discussion of such HRQOL outcomes with patients may facilitate informed decision-making and realistic postoperative expectations.