Most women who have breast cancer undergo some type of surgery as part of their treatment. When possible, the expert breast surgeons at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper will perform a nipple-sparing mastectomy. This surgical approach removes only breast tissue without touching the skin, nipple, or areola — and it’s just as effective at treating breast cancer.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy: What You Should Know

Once doctors know how far the cancer is located from the nipple, they can determine if this is the right procedure to use. This type of mastectomy is reserved for women with tumors that are not near the nipple or areola.  Here are some more details:

  • What this procedure entails: In this procedure, a surgeon:
    • Makes an incision on the side of the breast or around the edge of the areola
    • Removes all of the breast tissue under the skin
    • Leaves all skin, nipple and areola intact, resulting in a more natural look
  • Who this treatment might benefit: Nipple-sparing mastectomy can be used for both preventative and therapeutic purposes.
  • Breast reconstruction options: Our breast surgeons work closely with plastic surgeons to coordinate reconstructive options for women who request it. A nipple-sparing mastectomy can accommodate a variety of approaches, including implant- or tissue-based breast reconstruction. We can often combine mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries so you only have to undergo anesthesia once. Learn more about our breast reconstruction options.
  • Points to note: Nipple sensation after this procedure varies. Some women report having sensation in their nipple, something that isn’t possible with other mastectomy approaches. Additionally, many women report improved self-esteem and a more a positive body image with nipple-sparing mastectomy. This procedure can offer a stronger emotional recovery.

Why Choose MD Anderson at Cooper for Breast Cancer Care?

We partner with MD Anderson Cancer Center (one of the nation’s top cancer care centers) to offer research-backed breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment services. You’ll benefit from:

  • Breast cancer care expertise: Over the past decade, clinical advances have led to more effective breast cancer treatments. Our cancer care specialists have extensive experience treating breast cancer with complex surgical techniques, offering you a better chance at treatment success. Read about our breast cancer surgery specialties.
  • Convenience: Because we have offices located throughout South Jersey, you can find a center with a location and hours that work best for your schedule.
  • Team approach to breast cancer care: Our team of breast cancer specialists works together to provide comprehensive, coordinated breast cancer care. For women who choose breast reconstruction surgery, our surgeons combine breast cancer treatments with reconstructive care.
  • Access to clinical trials: Our specialists are at the forefront of breast cancer research. That means you might have the opportunity to take part in a promising clinical trial as part of your treatment.
  • Full range of support services: We offer nutrition, counseling, and a range of other support services to help you cope with cancer diagnosis and treatment. If you need a mastectomy as part of your treatment, we offer physical therapy and positive emotional support to help you achieve a complete recovery. Learn more about our cancer care support services.

Contact Us

To learn more about nipple-sparing mastectomy or other breast surgeries available at MD Anderson at Cooper or to schedule an appointment, please call 855.MDA.COOPER (855.632.2667).

Refer a Patient

If you are a doctor who wants to refer a patient to MD Anderson at Cooper for a nipple-sparing mastectomy, please call 855.MDA.COOPER (855.632.2667).