Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 1478–1484 | Cite as

A Nipple–Areolar Complex Reconstruction in Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction Using a Local Flap and Full-Thickness Skin Graft

  • Jae-Woo Heo
  • Seong Oh Park
  • Ung Sik JinEmail author
Original Article Breast Surgery



Nipple–areolar complex reconstruction is the final step of the reconstructive procedure in breast cancer patients. Nowadays, a combination of a local flap for nipple reconstruction and skin grafting or tattooing for areola reconstruction is deemed a first choice. In this paper, we are combining the techniques of local flap and full-thickness skin graft from the upper inner thigh for simultaneous reconstruction of the nipple and areola.

Patients and Methods

From January, 2016 to December, 2017, 23 female patients with an absent unilateral nipple–areolar complex due to post-oncological mastectomy and immediate implant-based breast reconstruction were subjects of the study. On an out-patient clinic basis, the percentage of the nipple projection loss was calculated at the intervals of 3 , 6 and 12 months postoperatively. At the final visit, the patient’s subjective satisfaction on the reconstructed areola compared to the normal contralateral side was evaluated using a visual analogue scale.


Over the course of time, the mean nipple projection loss was 20.16 ± 12.88, 31.78 ± 11.63 and 34.69 ± 12.01% at 3 , 6 and 12 months postoperatively, respectively. Patients’ overall satisfaction on the grafted areola was as follows; the largest number of patients (8 patients) had a ‘good’ satisfaction 12-months postoperatively. Out of 21 patients, those who considered the result to be ‘poor’ and ‘disappointing’ each accounted for 1 and 3 patients.


The combination of nipple–areolar complex reconstruction technique introduced in this study has proven to be a safe and efficacious alternative in patients with implant-based reconstruction requiring small- to medium-sized nipple projection, especially when the skin envelope is too tight for a local flap only.

Level of Evidence IV

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Mammaplasty Surgical flaps 



None of the authors has a commercial associations or financial interests to disclose. All authors have contributed to this paper and agreed in its readiness for submission. This article has not been submitted elsewhere simultaneously.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul National University College of MedicineSeoul National University HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryHanyang University Seoul HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea

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