Sunday, October 10, 2004

Breast-Feeding after Breast Reduction: Does Pedicle Type Matter?

Norma I Cruz-Korchin, MD and Leo Korchin, DDS, MS.

Often the surgeon is concerned with how to best preserve the breast-feeding potential of young women who have requested breast reduction surgery.  The early reports of inferior pedicle techniques being superior in younger women because of better lactation, have not been corroborated in the more recent literature.  Yet, doubt still exists as to whether one type of pedicle is superior to another. A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the breast-feeding success rate of the most commonly used pedicles to transpose the nipple-areola complex in breast reduction surgery.  In this study the breast-feeding success of women of childbearing age, (15 to 40) with macromastia but no prior breast surgery, was compared to that of women of similar age who had undergone reduction mammaplasty with superior, medial or inferior full-thickness dermo-glandular pedicles.  All women completed a self-administered questionnaire which provided information on their breast-feeding success.  A period of two weeks or more was chosen as the defining duration of a successful breast-feeding attempt.  Those individuals judged able to breast-feed were further classified on the basis of having breast-fed exclusively or with supplementation. The results of our study indicated that 62% of the women who attempted to breast-feed in the control group were successful, and of that group 34% had to supplement their breast-feeding with formula.  No significant difference (p<.05) between the control group and the superior, medial and inferior pedicle groups was found.     






Control Group



58 (62%)

20/58 (34%)

Superior Pedicle



18 (62%)

7/18 (39%)

Medial Pedicle



24 (65%)

9/24 (38%)

Inferior Pedicle



23 (64%)

8/23 (35%)

In conclusion, our study found no significant difference in the breast feeding success of women who had breast reduction surgery using superior, medial or inferior full-thickness pedicles for nipple-areola transposition and unoperated women with macromastia.     


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