Goldilocks Mastectomy: A Safe Bridge to Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction in the Morbidly Obese

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Abstract

Background:

Reconstructive surgeons are encountering an increasing number of obese women requiring postmastectomy reconstruction. These patients are poor candidates for autologous and prosthetic-based reconstructions as they have a high rate of reconstructive failure, surgical complications, and poor aesthetic outcomes. We demonstrate here the utility of the previously described Goldilocks mastectomy with free nipple grafts as a safe bridge to second stage implant-based breast reconstruction.

Methods:

Ten consecutive morbidly (BMI > 40) or super obese (BMI>50) women underwent bilateral Goldilocks mastectomy with free nipple grafts followed by second stage subpectoral implant placement at least three months postoperatively. Patients were assessed for implant-related complications including malposition, capsular contracture, dehiscence, and extrusion.

Results:

Ten postmastectomy reconstructions in patients with BMIs ranging from 37 to 50 with a mean BMI of 45 underwent bilateral Goldilocks mastectomy with free nipple grafts. Two patients had wound healing complications after Goldilocks mastectomy but were completely healed within 8 weeks. There were no instances of delayed wound healing or reconstructive failure after prosthetic placement. With at least 9 months of follow-up on all patients, no patient has had a capsular contracture, significant malposition, or other complication requiring reoperation.

Conclusion:

The obese patient poses a significant reconstructive challenge for which no reproducible approach has been described. Here, we present a 2-stage strategy: the previously described Goldilocks mastectomy with free nipple grafts followed by second stage subpectoral definitive implant placement. This is the first proposed description of a reliable strategy for postmastectomy reconstruction in the morbidly and super obese.

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