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Reduction mammaplasty: the results of avoiding nipple-areolar amputation in cases of extreme hypertrophy.

In extreme cases of breast hypertrophy, amputation of the nipple-areolar complex and transplantation during reduction mammaplasty has been advocated to avoid nipple necrosis. We report our experience with 172 patients having inferior breast pedicle reduction without amputation of the nipple-areolar complex. Mean total weight of resected tissue was 1,946 g (548 to 5,100 g), with a mean nipple-areolar transposition of 10 cm (0.5 to 23 cm). Dividing patients into four groups by weight of resection, we compared complication rates. In this series, where nipple-areola amputation was avoided, there was a 99.6% survival rate of the nipple-areolar complex with 97.1% retention of nipple sensibility. Patients with extreme breast hypertrophy (3,000 g resected tissue) experienced no increase in complications when compared to smaller reductions. In most cases of gigantomastia, amputation of the nipple can be avoided using the inferior breast pedicle technique. Size of breast resection alone should not determine the fate of the nipple.

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