Cartilage Banking For Nipple Reconstruction

23 Mar

Since blogging about my fears surrounding nipple reconstruction, I’ve reached a conclusion. I’m basing an important decision on my breast disaster with the first surgeon. That’s not realistic. Dr. Elliott hasn’t given me any reason to feel that I might develop necrosis from nipple reconstruction. With that in mind, next month when I have my one year checkup, I’ll talk to Dr. Elliott.

One of my other major concerns is nipple collapse. I have read stories from cancer survivors that within a matter of weeks, their nipples have flattened and shrunk.
I HAVE found an article about success with cartilage transplants. Small bits of cartilage are removed from the ear. These are used to basically prop up the flaps in nipple flap reconstruction.

Here is a link to the article abstract: Cartilage Banking

The above article deals with nipple reconstruction as it pertains to Asian women. This second abstract discusses using banked rib cartilage. My personal concern is that the study group size is only 17. But all members of the study group reported good aesthetic results. Here is that abstract: Banked Rib Cartilage

Another donor spot for the cartilage is the ear. In this article, there has been success with rolled auricular cartilage Rolled Auricular Cartilage

Since harvesting auricular cartilage will most likely be less invasive than harvesting rib cartilage, I’ll be discussing this last option with Dr. Elliott as the most likely option.

For those who feel that cartilage banking is not an option, there are also plastic implants. These have been mentioned briefly in the above articles. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to find any information on them. As more information comes to light, I’ll post it.


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