Outcomes of robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy versus conventional nipple-sparing mastectomy in women with breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of robotic surgery




Breast; Breast cancer; Mastectomy; Meta-analysis (source: MeSH NLM); Nipple; Systematic review


The promising results of the robotic approach for multiple cancer operations has led to interest in the potential of robotic nipple-sparing mastectomy (R-NSM); however, further studies are required to compare the benefits and complications of this approach with those of conventional open nipple-sparing mastectomy (C-NSM). We performed a meta-analysis to compare surgical complications of R-NSM versus C-NSM. We performed a review of literature through June 2022 in PubMed, Scopus, and EMBASE. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cohorts, case-control studies, and case series with > 50 patients comparing the two techniques. Separate meta-analyses were conducted according to study design. From 80 publications, we identified six studies. The sample size ranged from 63 to 311 mastectomies from 63 to 275 patients. The tumor size and disease stage were similar between groups. The positive margin rate was 0-4.6% in the R-NSM arm and 0-2.9% in the C-NSM arm. Four studies reported early recurrence data, which were similar between groups (R-NSM: 0%, C-NSM: 0-8%). The R-NSM group had a lower rate of overall complications compared to the C-NSM group in cohorts/RCTs (RR = 0.68, 95%CI 0.49-0.96). In case-control studies, rate of necrosis was lower with R-NSM. Operative time was significantly longer in the R-NSM group in cohort/RCTs. In early experience with R-NSM, R-NSM had a lower overall complication rate compared to C-NSM in cohorts/RCTs. While these data are promising, our results show variability and heterogeneity limiting definitive conclusions. Additional trials are needed to guide the role of R-NSM and its oncologic outcomes.


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