Reevaluating the Need for Routine Drainage in Reduction Mammaplasty

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Abstract

The incidence of complications after reduction mammaplasty without drains was reviewed by analysis of 50 bilateral reduction mammaplasty procedures. Patients ranged in age from 14 to 65 years; the average combined volume removed was 953 g. Eighty-four percent of the patients underwent a Pitanguy technique, and the remaining patients underwent an inferior pedicle or amputative technique with free nipple grafts. Three patients had six complications; one of these patients had three of the complications. Complications included two cases of fat necrosis and one case of wound disruption. One patient had a hematoma with wound disruption and partial nipple loss. There were no cases of infection. The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of complications in reduction mammaplasty performed without drains. Incidentally, statistical analysis using the chi-squared test revealed that this series without drains compared favorably with previously published data for reduction mammaplasty using drains. It is concluded that routine closed suction drainage after reduction mammaplasty is unnecessary and should be reconsidered. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 102: 1917, 1998.)

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