Flap-Mastopexy in Autologous Breast Reconstruction: Timing and Technique

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BackgroundTechniques in breast reconstruction have significantly advanced the possibility to create more natural and aesthetically appealing breasts. Despite thorough preoperative planning and vigilant operative technique, symmetry remains a concern for select patients who have undergone autologous breast reconstruction. Although symmetry procedures of the contralateral breast have been well described in the literature, little has been published regarding secondary revision in the autologous reconstructed breast, leaving uncertainty as to the appropriate timing and technique for revision procedures that will not hinder the viability of the flap. In this article, we provide an effective, reproducible and safe method of mastopexy after autologous breast reconstruction.MethodsA retrospective review of all patients undergoing autologous breast reconstruction by a single surgeon between 2007 and 2014 was performed. Patients who underwent mastopexy after autologous breast reconstruction were included. Patient characteristics, type of reconstruction, staging of procedures, secondary operations, and complications were recorded.ResultsTen patients with asymmetric autologous breast reconstruction underwent flap mastopexy in 1 or both breasts. Indications for mastopexy included asymmetry resulting from immediate loss of autologous flaps, unilateral fat necrosis, scarring after mastectomy flap necrosis, excess ptosis, and volume asymmetries. No flap loss, fat necrosis, or nipple loss occurred after flap mastopexy.ConclusionsThe autologous mastopexy technique is a useful option in secondary refinement procedures for breast reconstruction. It provides a reliable and predictable method to adjust the inframammary fold, increase projection, and address excess ptosis. It has a low complication rate and can be safely and reliably performed as early as 3 months after initial reconstruction.

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