Endoscopic mastectomy has been reportedly associated with smaller scars and greater patient satisfaction; however, few reports on this topic have been made. The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the early results of endoscopic nipple-sparing mastectomy (ENSM) and to investigate the safety of this procedure.
Between January 2002 and December 2005, a total of 87 patients with breast cancer but without skin and nipple involvement, including two cases of bilateral breast cancer, underwent E-NSM. In case of bloody nipple discharge and suspicious extension near the nipple as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging, the major ducts within the nipple were cored (nipple coring). In other cases, nipple coring was not performed.
Of the 89 breasts in 87 patients, 42 had tumors of >2 cm and 80 were diagnosed as having invasive carcinoma. Lymph node involvement was observed in 36 procedures. The overall rate of nipple necrosis was 18% (16 of 89). The rate of nipple necrosis among the procedures with nipple coring was statistically higher than that among those without nipple coring (7 of 17, 41%, vs. 9 of 72, 13%) (P = .01). Nipple involvement was observed in 2.2% (2 of 89). After a median follow-up period of 52 months, distant metastasis was observed in nine cases; no local recurrences occurred in this series.
E-NSM is an oncologically safe procedure and an acceptable method in selected patients requiring a mastectomy. The higher rate of nipple necrosis may have been the result of a technical problem, indicating the need for continued improvement in nipple coring procedures.