NSM was attempted in the 1980s but never gained popularity owing to the controversies surrounding oncological safety. Now, better technologies for preoperative staging and assessment of lesion distance from the NAC, along with an increased understanding of the anatomy of the breast ducts with relation to the nipple, are encouraging a return to the concept. One of the key publications that renewed and increased enthusiasm for this technique was the multicenter publication of 192 patients undergoing NSM with only four recurrences, all of which occurred distant from the NAC. Recurrences were seen in the upper outer quadrant, where nearly all recurrences are found with simple mastectomies, at the junction of the tail of the breast and axillary tissue.In recent years, there has been a sudden increase in reports of NSM for prophylaxis and cancer treatment. Of the approximately 1868 NSM procedures performed for breast cancer treatment and published in recent literature, only three local recurrences within the NAC have been reported, representing 0.16% of local events attributed to patients with NAC preservation. Note, however, that most of these studies have short follow-up periods, thus rendering definitive conclusions premature.
The article does a quick review of some of the techniques for NSM (photo credit, 1st reference article):Exclusion criteria included tumors larger than 3 cm, clinical invasion of the NAC, tumors within 2 cm from the nipple, evidence of multicentric disease, a positive intraoperative retroareolar frozen section, and nodal disease, excluding isolated immunohistochemistry positivity.
The article is worth your time to read.