, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1340-1346
Date: 09 Oct 2012

An Autoprosthesis Technique for Better Breast Projection in Free Nipple Graft Reduction Mammaplasty

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Abstract

Background

Reduction mammaplasty for macromastia provides relief from uncomfortable symptoms and improves self-confidence and the ability to participate in sports activities. Reduction mammaplasty using the free nipple graft technique may result in bottoming-out deformity and a lack of upper-pole projection. We describe a modified breast reduction technique that combines the Graf and Thorek methods.

Methods

We operated on 26 patients with gigantomastia using this novel technique. Preoperative markings were planned according to the classic Thorek amputation technique using a Wise pattern. A 10-cm × 14-cm pyramidal inferior-based dermoglandular flap was prepared, passed under a transverse pectoral muscle loop, and then back-folded over the pectoral loop, thereby establishing an autoprosthesis to increase upper-pole fullness and prevent bottoming-out deformity.

Results

The average weight of the removed breast tissue was 1,634 g (range = 1,120–2,140 g) for the right breast and 1,630 g (range = 1,110–2,120 g) for the left breast. The average follow-up period was 22 months (range = 11–37 months). All samples were pathologically assessed. Minor complications included wound breakdown at the T-junction, fat necrosis, hypertrophic scarring, and partial necrosis of the nipple–areola complex (NAC). Loss of nipple projection and partial hypopigmentation of the NAC occurred in most patients. Mild glandular ptosis was observed in two patients, with no flattening or deflation, but no severe bottoming-out deformity was observed during long-term follow-up.

Conclusions

All patients were happy with their new bra size, breast projection, and breast weight. Our combined autoprosthesis technique resulted in satisfactory long-term breast projection and upper-pole fullness.

Level of Evidence V

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266.