Evaluation of the Sensitivity of the Nipple–Areola Complex in Patients Undergoing Breast Ptosis Correction with Periareolar Dermis Release: A Randomized Controlled Trial



In the surgical treatment of breast ptosis, the plastic surgeon's main challenge is to mobilize the nipple–areola complex (NAC) over long distances, preserving its sensitivity. Herein, we aimed to evaluate the NAC sensitivity following a periareolar dermis release in patients undergoing surgical correction of breast ptosis.


This is a prospective, double-blinded, randomized study in which 39 patients (78 breasts) were operated on for the treatment of breast ptosis. Patients’ breasts were divided into two groups, each breast in a group. In breasts of the experiment group, the periareolar dermis release was used after decortication. This maneuver was not used in the control group's breasts. To analyze the sensitivity in relation with the distance that the NAC should be mobilized to correct breast ptosis, the value of 6 cm was used as boundary. Sensitivity of the NAC was assessed with monofilaments preoperatively and postoperatively—at three and six weeks and one year.


Regarding the sensitivity of the areola, a significant difference was observed in the comparison between the control and experiment groups at the NAC mobility ≤ 6.0 cm in the preoperative. Regarding the nipple, a significant difference was observed in the comparison between the control and experiment groups at three weeks postoperatively for a NAC mobility ≤ 6.0 cm. After one year, there was no difference in the comparison between the groups in either areola or nipple.


The periareolar dermis release does not compromise NAC vascularization and pressure sensitivity in patients undergoing breast ptosis correction.

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Correspondence to Fernando Santa Cruz Oliveira.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This research project was approved by the Ethics Committee of our institution under the protocol CAAE 05351312.3.0000.5208.

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Sá, J.Z., Santa Cruz Oliveira, F., Santinoni, W.F. et al. Evaluation of the Sensitivity of the Nipple–Areola Complex in Patients Undergoing Breast Ptosis Correction with Periareolar Dermis Release: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Aesth Plast Surg (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-020-01835-7

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  • Mastopexy
  • Breast ptosis
  • Reduction mammaplasty
  • NAC sensitivity