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Breast Reduction: The Superolateral Dermoglandular Pedicle Revisited

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Abstract

Background

Breast hypertrophy, generally found in association with ptosis, is a common problem in postadolescent women. Beyond the psychological burden of excessively heavy, droopy breasts, physical symptoms compound the condition, with neck, shoulder and back pain. Reduction mammaplasty is one of the most common cosmetic operations, especially to improve patient’s musculoskeletal symptoms, with proven benefits in patient satisfaction and self-esteem postoperatively. Multiple techniques exist for breast reduction, with no clear evidence of benefit of one over another.

Methods

We review the senior author’s experience in using a superolateral pedicle for breast reduction in 726 patients over the past 40 years. Over the past 10 years, the technique has also been adapted for simultaneous augmentation–mastopexy, especially in post-bariatric surgery patients. Benefits include recruitment of lateral breast tissue to fill the upper pole and correct axillary fullness. The technique has the advantages of ease of execution and a low complication rate.

Results

Complete data were available for 397 patients. Resection weights varied from 380 to 1248 g, and mean sternal notch–nipple distance was 25.3 cm. Mean follow-up was 22 months. Complications were uncommon: four cases of partial nipple-areola complex loss, dehiscence in 14 patients, three hematomas and seven cases of superficial surgical site infection. Nipple sensitivity was decreased in eight patients, and three patients were unable to breastfeed following surgery. Revision surgery was requested by 14 patients.

Conclusions

Breast reduction using the superolateral dermoglandular flap is easy to execute, versatile, safe and effective, preserving physiological functions, and is an excellent option when treating patients with medium-to-large breasts.

Level of Evidence IV

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Author information

Correspondence to Carlos Oscar Uebel.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest, commercial associations or financial interests to disclose.

Ethics Statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Uebel, C.O., Piccinini, P.S., Ramos, R.F.M. et al. Breast Reduction: The Superolateral Dermoglandular Pedicle Revisited. Aesth Plast Surg 43, 36–45 (2019) doi:10.1007/s00266-018-1225-8

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Keywords

  • Breast reduction
  • Mammaplasty
  • Pedicle
  • Vascular
  • Blood supply
  • Breast surgery
  • Nipple-areola complex
  • Flap