Robotic, Traditional Nipple-Conserving Mastectomies Have Similar Results


A new robot-assisted nipple-conserving mastectomy is “not very different” in terms of patient experiences versus the traditional procedure.

A new technology is being evaluated in the breast cancer setting known as a robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy, which is expected to make an impact on surgical outcomes, compared with traditional techniques, an expert said.

According to Massachusetts General Hospital, a traditional nipple-conserving mastectomy is a type of procedure for patients considering a mastectomy to treat cancer. The purpose is to preserve all the skin on the breast, which includes the nipple and areola. The reconstructive surgeon replaces the skin during the procedure to make the breast look more natural.

The new technology was presented by Dr. Ko Un “Clara” Park, director of research at breast surgery network sites and associate breast cancer surgeon at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Brigham and Women’s Hospital, during the 2024 Miami Breast Cancer Conference and the CURE® Educated Patient® Breast Cancer Summit.

“It's a novel way of applying the existing robotic technology to perform a known operation called nipple-sparing mastectomy,” Park explained to CURE®. “The major unknown aspects and the major ongoing studies are focusing on the oncologic safety of robot-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy.”

So far, the novel technology demonstrated that “patient-reported outcomes are not inferior compared to open nipple-sparing mastectomy,” Park noted.

At the conference, CURE® also spoke with Park about what patients with breast cancer can expect before, during and after robotic-assisted nipple-sparing mastectomy.

She stated that a patient’s experience before and after a robot-assisted nipple-conserving mastectomy was “not very different” from a traditional nipple-conserving mastectomy. Of note, the main difference between the two was due to different activities that patients within a clinical trial may experience, such as surveys.


The preparation preoperatively and aftercare for robot-assisted nipple-conserving mastectomy is not very different from conventional nipple-sparing mastectomy, the main difference that I could think of is that if the patient was undergoing the operation as part of a clinical trial, for instance, then there may be some additional activities surrounding the clinical trial, especially with measurements of certain things or, or surveys and those kinds of things. But as far as the preoperative and post-operative care, I would anticipate that it's not different from a conventional nipple-sparing mastectomy.

The transcript has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

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