Female-to-male mastectomy often renders the chest skin and nipple-areolar complex (NAC) insensate. We propose a new technique of preserving the intercostal nerves and using them to reinnervate the NAC after mastectomy.We performed a prospective analysis of transmasculine patients who underwent female-to-male mastectomy. The technique involves dissecting out the lateral intercostal nerves to length and performing a neurorrhaphy to nerve stumps at the base of the NAC. Sensory outcomes, as assessed with Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, were compared to a cohort of patients who underwent mastectomy without neurotization.Ten patients with a mean age of 17.5 years (range: 16-19 years) underwent mastectomy. The final follow-up was a mean of 15.4 ± 4.3 months for the treated group and 40.7 ± 12.9 months for the control group. Compared to control patients, treated patients had significant improvement in sensation at the nipple (P = 0.0002), areola (P = 0.0001), and peripheral breast skin (P = 0.0001). For treated patients, there was no statistically significant difference in sensation between preoperative and postoperative sensation in all tested areas at final follow-up.This proof of concept study suggests that immediate reinnervation of the NAC after mastectomy enhances recovery of NAC sensation in patients undergoing female-to-male mastectomy and may be further generalized to women undergoing postmastectomy breast reconstruction.
View details for DOI 10.1097/GOX.0000000000002719
View details for PubMedID 32537367
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7253256