Goh, S.C.J., Martin, N.A., Pandya, A.N. and Cutress, R.I.
Patient satisfaction following nipple-areolar complex reconstruction and tattooing
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery (doi:10.1016/j.bjps.2010.05.010).
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Background: Nipple-areolar complex (NAC) reconstruction and tattooing complete and compliment reconstruction of the breast mound. Patient satisfaction with NAC reconstruction and tattoo, independent from breast mound reconstruction is evaluated in this study.
Methods: Patients who underwent nipple tattooing between January 2001 and June 2008 were sent a postal questionnaire retrospectively. Questions included those regarding reconstruction type, patient satisfaction with NAC reconstruction and tattoo outcome, and complications.
Results: 110 patients with completed questionnaires were included from the 172 patients who were invited. Median follow up time was 38.5 months (1–86). Eighty eight percent reported overall satisfaction with their NAC reconstruction. Seventy percent of patients were satisfied with their nipple tattoos. All procedures were done in a day case setting and eighty-nine patients reported no postoperative complications. The commonest causes for disappointment were lack of projection of the NAC reconstruction and fading of tattoos. Ninety-six percent of women stated that NAC reconstruction and tattooing were important to them, and 93% of the patients would undergo the procedures again.
Conclusion: We believe that NAC reconstruction is an important and integral part of breast reconstruction. This study should inform surgeons and patients regarding outcome, possible complications and the potential need and timing of further tattooing.
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