BACKGROUND: Breast cosmetic surgery has focused on the correction of breast volume, suspension, and shape. In most of the breast reduction and mastopexy techniques currently in use, the vascular pedicles responsible for the blood supply to the nipple areolar complex (NAC) are of particular importance. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the results obtained with different techniques and pedicle choices with regard to the maintenance of lower breast pole shape during a postoperative 6-month follow-up period.
METHODS: A total of 20 female patients (40 breasts) with a body mass index (BMI) ranging from 22 to 25 and ages between 21 and 54 years who underwent breast lift and reduction surgery at the Plastic Surgery and Burns Department of Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo were retrospectively analyzed. The superior medial pedicle and Liacyr Ribeiro type I pedicle techniques for mammary reduction were used. The distance between the vertical scar of the NAC and the inframammary crease was measured in the immediate postoperative period and after 6 months to compare the effect of each pedicle on vertical distance maintenance. Statistical analyses were performed by Student's t test, and P values < 0.005 were considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: The pedicles used were superior (n = 16), medial (n = 20), and Liacyr Ribeiro type I (n = 4). The vertical scar (NAC-inframammary crease) measured between 5 cm and 6 cm (mean = 5.6 cm) during the immediate postoperative period, while later postoperative measurements ranged between 5.5 cm and 8 cm (mean = 6.6 cm). The differences in the NAC-inframammary crease distance between the Liacyr Ribeiro type I pedicle (P = 0.2048), superior pedicle (P = 0.0012), and medial pedicle (P = 0.0057) based surgeries only reached statistical significance in the superior pedicle surgery with respect to an increase in this measurement.
CONCLUSIONS: Measurement of the vertical distance between the most caudal portion of the NAC and the inframammary crease scar is simple and might contribute to our understanding of the effect of different pedicle techniques on the long-term results of mammaplasty.
Keywords: Mammaplasty. Breast/surgery. Plastic surgery/methods.