Breast hypertrophy is a condition of abnormal enlargement of the breast which may continue until each breast weighs more than 1.5 kg (macromastia) or even more than 2 kg (gigantomastia). Supporting such heavy weights leads to cervical and upper thoracic back pain, costochondritis, and fungal infections in the mammary folds, making reduction mammoplasty essential. However, there is a lack of consensus among plastic surgeons as to the best technique. This study reports the results of reduction mammoplasties in South African women using the Wise pattern, minimally undermined with a medial pedicle.
A retrospective record review of the reduction mammoplasties was conducted over a 1-year period. Patient records were assessed for early complications related to vascular reliability.
One hundred and fourteen Wise pattern minimally undermined, medial pedicle techniques were performed on 57 consecutive patients in the 1-year period at the NetCare Rand Clinic in Berea, Johannesburg, South Africa (EN). The patients’ sternal notch to nipple distances ranged from 28 to 52 cm. The volume of breast reduction ranged from 345 g to 3300 g per breast. The overall complication rate was 9.7%, consisting of fat necrosis (3.5%), infection (1.7%), dehiscence (3.5%), and nipple epidermolysis (0.9%).
The minimally undermined Wise pattern medial pedicle breast reduction technique proved to be a reliable technique for breast reduction in the South African population. Safety in pedicle breast reduction with sternal notch to nipple distances of up to 50 cm, as well as reliability and versatility in a wide range of breast sizes, was demonstrated.