Robotic Mastectomy provides patients with increased satisfaction without compromising oncologic outcomes. In recent years, as robotic surgery has further developed, robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy (R-NSM) has become an increasingly popular option for certain patients. 

In a robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy, the surgeon creates a small incision near the armpit or bra line, which helps to preserve the blood supply to the breast skin and the nipple. This reduces the risk of loss of the skin and/or nipple (tissue necrosis) as compared to traditional NSM, where the incisions are placed on the breast. The surgeon uses the robot to remotely dissect the breast tissue.

There are numerous benefits of performing nipple-sparing mastectomies robotically. The multi-level magnification feature allows the surgeon to explore the breast tissue in depth, rather than relying solely on the naked eye, which has considerable limitations. In addition, the use of the robot facilitates a far greater range of motion than the human wrist or hand is capable of, allowing the surgeon to access every part of the breast where tissue may be otherwise difficult to access. The aesthetic benefit of the smaller size and hidden location of the scar near the armpit, provides women with greater satisfaction and outcomes.

Small Incisions: Aesthetic And Safe

As with any surgery, there are risks of developing complications. Robotic nipple sparing mastectomy with breast reconstruction utilizes the da Vinci robotic Xi surgical system to provide superior clinical outcomes. Traditional nipple sparing mastectomy is a difficult technique to perform because of the technical limitations associated with the procedure.

The blood supply to the nipple areola complex and the breast skin envelope is through the skin. Incisions placed on the breast can decrease this blood supply. By placing incisions near the armpit, away from the breast, blood supply is preserved to the breast skin and the nipple. This may reduce the risk of loss of the skin and/or nipple (tissue necrosis).

Keeping a small incision off the breast may also help reduce infection and pain. Infections following nipple-sparing mastectomy with implant-based breast reconstruction can be devastating. It can result in the need for antibiotics or, even in some cases, necessitate removal of the implant. The robotic nipple sparing mastectomy approach, using the da Vinci surgical system, may reduce the risk of infection during surgery. Since the length of the incision is small and away from the breast, additional blood supply is preserved and patients may be less susceptible to infection.

The precision of the machine minimizes the size of the incision, which reduces the risk of scar tissue related complications. The smaller incision site may also heal much faster than the larger incision site in traditional nipple sparing mastectomy. This may lead to less pain and faster recovery after surgery. The small incision has the potential to translate to optimal aesthetics, higher patient satisfaction, less pain, and quicker recovery.

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