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Reduction Mammaplasty with the "Owl" Incision and No Undermining.

Ramirez, Oscar M. M.D.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: February 2002
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: Reduction mammaplasty has traditionally been done using the Wise pattern of incision. Because of the box-like effect in breast shape, the lack of projection, and the long scars associated with the inverted T incision, two techniques have emerged as alternatives: the vertical reduction of Lassus/Lejour and the "round block" periareolar technique popularized by Benelli. Each of these techniques has its pros and cons.

The "owl" incision combines the features of the large periareolar reduction (Benelli's) and the vertical reduction (Lassus/Lejour); the horizontal inframammary scar is either made very short or completely eliminated. Volume reduction is done through a heart-shaped parenchymal resection, leaving the nipple-areolar complex over a supero-central pedicle. Maintenance of the central parenchyma behind the nipple-areolar complex and mobilization of the vertical pillars toward the center of the breast give excellent projection and diminish the lateral fullness. Enlargement of the periareolar skin resection diminishes the length and pleating of the vertical scar; conversely, inclusion of the vertical component to the periareolar technique eliminates the pleating effect of the periareolar incision. The short horizontal excision eliminates any resultant "dog ears" in the new inframammary fold. Thus, the discrepancy in the length of scars is better distributed. There is no skin or parenchymal undermining, so drains are not needed. Excellent results are obtained immediately on the operating table, and large volumes of glandular resection and correction of severe ptosis can be accomplished without compromising vascularity of either the nipple-areolar complex or the skin flaps.

Ninety-four patients in a 7-year period were operated upon using this technique. Seventy-two had bilateral reductions up to 1900 gm per breast, 12 had unilateral reduction for symmetry following breast reconstruction, and 10 were patients with severe ptosis. Complications were rare and of a minor nature. No conversion to free grafts was done, even in the larger resections. One case required minor revision under local anesthesia, one case required bilateral re-reduction, and another case required unilateral re-reduction for continued growth of breast tissue. Almost 90 percent of the patients underwent procedures as outpatients.

The owl-type incision and the supero-central pedicle flap are elements of a reduction mammaplasty technique that provides excellent projection and shape with minimal visible scars. It takes advantage of the positive features of the periareolar and vertical reduction techniques and minimizes their negative features. The new design of parenchymal resection improves the vascularity of the residual flaps. Additionally, it may better preserve the sensation to the nipple-areolar complex and lactation is not compromised. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 109: 512, 2002.)

(C)2002American Society of Plastic Surgeons