Background: While recent studies have reported modest to no difference in breast aesthetics for shaped and round implant types in breast augmentations, the anatomy and biomechanics in the setting of breast reconstruction is different. Objectives: Accordingly, we endeavored to evaluate whether two implant types impacted nipple position and aesthetic features in prosthetic breast reconstruction. Methods: A retrospective chart review was carried out on patients who underwent nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) with immediate tissue expander breast reconstruction. Patients were divided into two cohorts: smooth round implants and textured shaped implants. Postoperative photographs were evaluated to assess nipple displacement vis-à-vis a vector of maximal projection and aesthetic outcome for features of breast shape. Results: Of 102 breasts meeting the inclusion criteria, 41 had tissue expander-implant reconstruction with anatomical shaped implants, and 61 had reconstruction with smooth round implants. The shaped implant cohort had less nipple deviation from the point of maximal projection (3.69 ± 6.24 vs 7.52 ± 10.50; P < 0.0001). Graded semi-quantitative aesthetic scores were also higher (4.04 ± 0.67 vs 3.72 ± 0.93; P = 0.0044) in the shaped implants than in the round cohort. Conclusions: Unlike breast augmentation, there is a paucity of overlying breast tissue and larger dissected spaces in prosthetic breast reconstruction. Our analysis suggests that in this setting, textured anatomic implants result in less nipple deviation from the point of maximum projection and improved aesthetic outcomes compared to round implants. When considering implant choice in NSM reconstruction, the manifold risks of shaped textured implants must thus be informed by potential aesthetic benefits with respect to shape and enhanced nipple sensation.
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