Nipple Removal in Mastectomy

Expert advice on mastectomy from the National Center for Policy Research for Women & Families.
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Q. "Can I have a mastectomy without removing the nipple?"

A. Most surgeons recommend removal of the nipple because cancer cells can grow there. Although rarely done, it is possible to undergo a subcutaneous mastectomy, and save the nipple, if the cancer is not located near the nipple. A subcutaneous mastectomy is more likely than a total mastectomy to leave breast cells behind that could become cancerous. Neither the nipple nor the breast will have the same sensations after a mastectomy that they do before a mastectomy, because the nerves are cut.


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