Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy Definition and Benefits

Dr. Harness explains that a nipple-sparing mastectomy involves keeping the areola, the nipple, and all of the skin of the breast. Watch this video to find out why a nipple-sparing mastectomy is good for the physical and emotional well-being for the breast cancer patient.

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Jay K. Harness, MD, FACS: Nipple-sparing mastectomy means that we are saving not only all of the skin of the breast but also the areola and the nipple. I have had a very large personal experience in doing nipple-sparing mastectomy and it fits into my oncoplastic approach to patients, my emotionally constructional approach to patients.

More and more centers are now starting to do nipple-sparing mastectomy. There are certainly circumstances where a patient wants or needs a mastectomy. We have women who are choosing prophylactic mastectomy now, so if we can save all of the skin, the nipple, and the areola, and then operate down below the breast and on the armpit area so that the scars are hidden, the patient looks at herself in the mirror and feels good about herself. That’s really, really important. Plus, it can be done safely with the more modern techniques we have for nipple-sparing mastectomy.

Dr. Jay K. Harness is a board certified surgeon currently treating patients at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA. Dr. Harness specializes in complete breast health, breast cancer surgery, oncoplastic reconstruction, genetic screening, management of breast health issues, risk assessment and counseling. Dr. Harness is the medical director for Breast Cancer Answers.com, and guides this first ever social media show’s information by drawing on his former leadership experience as the President of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and Breast Surgery International. Dr. Harness graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1969 and spent time early on in his career at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

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