The weave technique for nipple reconstruction

John Y.S. Kim*, Madeleine J. Gust, Caitlin M. Connor, Armando Davila, Nora M. Hansen, Khang T. Nguyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traditional nipple reconstruction relies on local flap techniques. However, there are several problems associated with local flap reconstruction including loss of projection, widening of the base width, and difficulty working around the mastectomy scar. This study presents a variation of traditional local flap nipple reconstruction, which is termed the weave technique. Rather than using two flaps to create base width, the weave technique uses one. By controlling the base width, this may serve to sustain long-term projection. Second, filling the inside of the nipple with the second flap may contribute to longer term projection. Because there is no third flap, it is easier to orient the nipple with respect to the mastectomy scar. To date, the senior author has used this method to reconstruct 55 nipples in 40 patients, with 415 days (range 191-733) mean follow-up time. This includes 45 (82%) nipple reconstructions after tissue expander-implant reconstruction. The use of this technique has produced excellent aesthetic results with nipple projection and site healing. The majority of patients have been satisfied with their nipple reconstruction. Three patients had wound healing difficulties, including two (3.6%) that healed with conservative wound care and one (1.8%) in a radiated patient requiring surgical revision. There were no other revisions necessary and no infections. In summary, the weave technique is a suitable modification to the popular C-V technique that maintains the benefits and simplicity of the aforementioned flap while potentially reducing projection loss, conserving base width, and allowing greater flexibility for nipple placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-138
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Keywords

  • Breast reconstruction
  • Local flap
  • Mastectomy
  • Nipple reconstruction
  • Weave flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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