Recurrence of breast ptosis after mastopexy – a prospective pilot study

A. Sisti1, G. Dalfino2, E. Pica Alfieri3, R. Cuomo3, P. Sadeghi4, G. Nisi3, L. Grimaldi3
1 Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA
2 Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy
3 Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience; „Santa Maria alle Scotte“ Hospital, University of Siena, Italy
4 Plastic Surgery Department, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA

Background: Breast ptosis is characterized by severe volumetric deficiency of the upper pole, excess of skin in the lower pole and descent of the nipple-areola complex (NAC). Mastopexy, also known as breast lifting, is the surgical operation aimed to reshape the ptotic breast. Recurrence of breast ptosis after mastopexy is common but to the best of our knowledge no study before has measured it. Purpose: The aim of this study was to measure the recurrence of breast ptosis after mastopexy in a prospective study. Materials and methods: Female patients affected by unilateral or bilateral moderate or severe breast ptosis were enrolled in the study. All the patients underwent mastopexy performed only with the removal of skin excess following a Wise pattern. The jugular notch-nipple distance was measured before surgery, immediately after surgery and after 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. Results: Ten patients were included in the study, four underwent unilateral mastopexy and six underwent bilateral mastopexy. The lifting of the NAC, measured in the immediate post-operative period, ranged from 3 to 8.5 cm, with an average value of 6.3 cm. This lifting, one year after surgery, ranged from 2 to 7 cm, with an average value of 4.6 cm. The percentage loss of the NAC lifting one year after
surgery compared to the immediate post-operative time ranged from 12.5 to 41.7%, with an average value of 27.5%. Conclusion: In our case series, the lifting of the NAC obtained immediately after surgery showed an average loss of 27.5% one year after surgery. Even if limited by the low number of patients included, this pilot study is eye-opening on a very common phenomenon that occurs after mastopexy. The patients should be informed about the possible recurrence of the breast ptosis.

Key words
breast surgery – body contouring surgery – mastopexy – breast ptosis treatment outcomes – breast ptosis recurrence

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