Repeat Reduction Mammaplasty

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Abstract

Repeat reduction mammaplasty is an uncommonly performed procedure. Currently, no clear operative guidelines of management exist. Sixteen patients (28 breasts) with a mean age of 29 years (range, 13 to 52 years) underwent repeat breast reduction over an 11-year period. Before the first reduction, the mean notch to nipple distance was 29.6 cm (range, 24 to 38 cm) and mean nipple to inframammary crease distance was 15.5 cm (range, 12 to 18 cm). The mean mass of tissue excised was 615 g per breast. A number of different pedicles were used (six inferior, five superior, four superomedial, one unknown). All patients subsequently developed pseudoptosis. The nipple to inframammary crease distance was a mean of 11.4 cm (having initially been set at 7 cm) before the second procedure. At the second operation, two patients (three breasts) had their initial pedicles transected and the nipple-areola complex moved, and both patients developed vascular compromise of the nipple-areola complex (two breasts). Where the same pedicle was used in the second operation (five patients, 10 breasts), one patient developed unilateral nipple-areola complex necrosis. In eight patients, because of the development of pseudoptosis, the nipple was in a satisfactory position, and therefore only an inferior wedge of tissue required excision. This was performed without nipple-areola complex compromise, irrespective of the initial pedicle. The mean mass of tissue excised in the second operation was 325 g per breast (range, 120 to 620 g). Fourteen patients were available for follow-up after a mean of 5.1 years (range, 3 months to 11.7 years) following the repeat reduction mammaplasty.

In the repeat breast reduction, where nipple-areola complex transposition is planned, the initial pedicle should be reused to maintain nipple-areola complex perfusion. Where the initial pedicle is not known, a free nipple graft may be the safest option. In patients with pseudoptosis, in whom the nipple does not require transposition, an inferior wedge of tissue can be safely excised, irrespective of the initial pedicle. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 104: 401, 1999.)

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