Reduction mammaplasty is a commonly-performed procedure among plastic surgeons. Although several methods exist, the Wise pattern/inferior pedicle (IP) technique is the most widely used. The vertical scar/superomedial pedicle (SP) technique has gained acceptance for its shorter scar and more durable projection results, but some hesitation remains with its use in larger volume reductions.
The incidence of complications in 124 consecutively performed breast reductions (246 breasts) at a single institution using either the Wise pattern/IP technique or vertical scar/SP technique, as well as risk factors associated with them, was determined. Patient demographics, comorbidities, intraoperative details, and major and minor complications were assessed.
Ninety (72.6%) patients underwent SP, and 39 patients had IP reductions. Minor infections and wound dehiscence were the most common complications (11 each [8.9%]), followed by minor nonoperative hematomas, 10 (8.1%) and fat necrosis, 7 (5.6%). The mean weight of resected tissue per breast was 692 g. No nipple loss, major complications or reexplorations occurred. Obese, diabetic patients were more likely to undergo IP compared with SP reductions. After adjustment in a multivariate analysis, there was no significant difference in complication rates between the 2 methods (IP vs SP: odds ratio, 2.65; 95% confidence interval, 0.85–8.27; P = 0.09). The results were similar after the analysis was restricted to patients with mean weight of resected tissue per breast greater than 1000 g.
There was no significant difference in complications between IP and SP reduction, suggesting that the SP method is a safe alternative to the IP technique, even in macromastia patients undergoing large-volume reductions.