Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 391–397 | Cite as

Diagnosis of breast tumors after breast reduction

  • Gertrude M. Beer
  • Peter Kompatscher
  • Klaus Hergan


We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the diagnosability of breast tumors after breast reductions as this is a frequent surgical procedure. The data should shed light on the hypothesis that routine screening methods concerning the diagnosis of breast tumors prove more difficult after breast operations. All women who had undergone breast reduction at our department between January 1989 and December 1994 were examined. During this period we counted 166 patients; the majority of them (n = 144) had undergone a bilateral breast reduction and the rest of them (n = 22) a unilateral breast reduction for various reasons. After the operation, all patients were checked in standardized intervals. Those who developed any kind of breast mass (n = 6) were recorded and examined by ultrasound and mammography, and occasionally by an additional fine-needle biopsy. In case any doubt about the dignity had remained, an excisional biopsy was carried out. In none of our patients was it possible to get a precise diagnosis of an ill-defined mass with ultrasound. With mammography, some of the existing masses, which were really scars, mimicked different kinds of tumors, and once a carcinoma was initially interpreted as scar tissue with oil cysts. The diagnosis of breast masses after breast reductions with routinely used screening methods has proved to be more difficult as breast reductions lead to architectural alterations of the remaining breast parenchyma. Such alterations can and should be documented shortly after the operation so that later occurring tumors are distinguished more easily. Therefore, a basic mammography 3 months after each breast reduction has to be claimed in order to facilitate further breast tumor diagnosis.

Key words

Breast reduction Breast tumors Breast tumor screening Mammography Ultrasound 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertrude M. Beer
    • 1
  • Peter Kompatscher
    • 1
  • Klaus Hergan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryFeldkirchAustria

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