For women who plan to have immediate breast reconstruction, traditional skin-sparing mastectomy removes the breast tissue, nipple and areola. In an optional procedure, new nipples can then be recreated on the reconstructed breasts.
Nipple-sparing mastectomy is a newer, more conservative option for women who have immediate breast reconstruction; it preserves all of the breast skin, including the nipple and areola. Many women feel that this allows them to keep a small part—and from an emotional perspective, perhaps the most important part—of their natural breasts.
Here's what you should know about nipple-sparing mastectomy: