Robotic Nipple Sparing Mastectomy

Robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy

One of the best aspects of working in medicine is that the field is always progressing to improve both patients’ health and their quality of life through new technological advancements.

Research has produced advances in the ability to predict if someone has an elevated risk of developing breast cancer through genetic screening. For reconstructive surgery patients who don’t want implants, we can offer new reconstruction techniques like using tissue flap grafting. There are even vaccines in development in the hopes of preventing breast cancer one day.

One of the newest improvements in breast cancer surgery techniques is the introduction of robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy (rNSM) techniques. While the use of robotics in mastectomies is not yet common, it does show promise as a prophylactic mastectomy option.

What Is a Robotic Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy?

Nipple-sparing mastectomies are surgical procedures aimed at producing more natural-looking reconstructions while also reducing a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. In nipple-sparing mastectomies, a surgeon removes the fat, milk ducts, and other breast tissues while leaving the nipple-areola complex and blood supply intact.

This technique is most suitable in prophylactic mastectomies because of increased nipple and breast sensation, when compared to skin-sparing mastectomy techniques. It may not be an ideal option for women who already have a breast cancer diagnosis, however, because it retains the nipple and areola, which increases the possibility of cancer recurrence.

Robotic nipple-sparing mastectomies use the same surgical techniques in general, but instead of making a longer incision under the breast fold or around the nipple, surgeons guide a robot to remove breast tissue through a small incision near the armpit.

Because of the increased precision of robotics and endoscopic imaging, surgeons are able to navigate the patient’s anatomy more easily. This procedure leaves nerves to the nipple-areolar complex intact in a way that hasn’t been possible before.

Pros and Cons of Robotic Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Like all surgeries, robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy procedures also come with pros and cons. Because this surgical technique is new (it’s become more available in the last five years), there are additional considerations for this procedure compared to more time-tested methods.

Pros and Cons of Robotic Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy



  • Improved cosmetic outcomes

  • Improved post-operative nipple and breast sensation

  • Faster recovery

  • Reduced post-operative pain

  • Minimally invasive 

    • lower risk of complications

  • Reduced scarring


  • Unknown long-term outcomes

  • Longer operating times

  • Requires robotics-trained surgeon

  • Not widely available

  • Technical challenges

  • Increased costs

Even with the newest technology options, the most important step in any mastectomy and reconstruction is finding an expert surgeon you can trust to give you the best care.

Choosing the Right Team For Your Mastectomy and Reconstruction

While robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy techniques show great promise, the technology is not yet widely available and still requires long-term follow-up studies. Women who need mastectomy and reconstruction surgery now or in the near future need to be able to find a surgeon they can trust to give them the best experience and outcomes of their surgery.

To find the best team, a plastic surgeon-first consult – especially in the case of prophylactic mastectomy – allows women to decide their surgical options and treatment plans with the final outcomes in mind.

You should look for a plastic surgeon who knows excellent breast surgeons to pair with for the mastectomy and who can follow up with the best reconstruction options for you.

Common Reconstruction Techniques

Other important qualities of an expert plastic surgeon include finding someone who:

Harris Plastic Surgery has a long history of providing excellent patient care and delivering results to help women meet their post-mastectomy goals.

Harris Plastic Surgery for Your Reconstruction Needs

If you are someone who needs a mastectomy and reconstruction but can’t wait for some future date when robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy will be thoroughly tested and universally available, Dr. Harris and the staff at Harris Plastic Surgery are here to give you the best experience and expert surgical attention that only a human can provide. 

Contact us online or by phone/text message to schedule your consultation today.

Stephen U. Harris, MD FACS

Dr. Stephen U. Harris is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon and recognized expert in breast reduction and reconstruction surgeries, having performed thousands in his career. When it comes to patient care, his philosophy is that every surgery should improve his patient’s overall quality of life, not just their appearance. Dr. Harris stays up-to-date on all the latest advancements in breast augmentation, reconstruction, and reduction and is a recognized innovator in the field. In fact, he was the first surgeon at Good Samaritan Hospital to offer primary prepectoral implant breast reconstruction, as well as secondary prepectoral revision surgery.

Dr. Harris also serves as Chief of Plastic Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York and is an active staff surgeon (and former Chief of Plastic Surgery) at South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York.

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