Background: Breast reconstruction improves the psychological well-being of patients with breast cancer. Patients who complete nipple-areolar reconstruction are even more satisfied with their final reconstructive result. Nipple flattening is a common complication. We hypothesized that injectable soft-tissue filler can be used to augment nipple projection in patients who underwent breast reconstruction.Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients who underwent breast reconstruction and desired an enhanced postoperative nipple projection. The patients underwent a single session of injection with a hyaluronic acid filler as an outpatient. The filler was injected intradermally at the base of the nipple until the desired nipple projection was obtained.Results: Twelve patients and 22 breasts were included in this study. Enhanced nipple projection was observed in all cases, with an average increase of 3.0mm in nipple height (range 2.5-4.5mm). All injected nipples remained soft to the touch. All results were stable at a median of 7.5 months follow-up. No complications were observed.Conclusions: The use of injectable fillers for enhanced nipple projection is a useful adjunct treatment in patients undergoing breast reconstruction. Advantages include the ability to obtain nipple projection in patients who opt to forgo nipple-areola reconstruction with local flaps, to augment reconstructed nipples in patients with thin mastectomy skin flaps especially following implant-based reconstruction, and to improve projection of the native nipple following nipple-sparing mastectomy. Another benefit of this adjunct treatment is that the injection is reversible. Filler injection is a safe and simple solution to the problem of insufficient nipple projection.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpra.2019.10.003
View details for PubMedID 32158901