Background: A retrospective study was performed to evaluate the effect of pregnancy and breast-feeding on the breasts of women who had undergone vertical reduction mammaplasty.
Methods: The study group consisted of 57 women who had pregnancies after their vertical reduction mammaplasty. Of this group, 24 breast-fed. The control group consisted of 103 women who had vertical mammaplasty but no subsequent pregnancies. An evaluation form was completed that included the age, body mass index, amount of tissue removed per breast, pregnancies after the mammaplasty, history of breast-feeding, and breast measurements. All patients had breast measurements routinely performed postoperatively at 2 weeks and again at 2 years. The following measurements were obtained: mid-clavicle to nipple, and inframammary fold to inferior areola.
Results: No significant difference was found between the control and the study group regarding age (27 ± 12 versus 29 ± 10), body mass index (26 ± 5 versus 27 ± 4), and grams of tissue excised per breast (610 ± 201 versus 598 ± 279). The breast measurement from the mid-clavicle to nipple was not significantly altered by pregnancy with or without breast-feeding (p > 0.05). The distance between the inframammary fold and the inferior margin of the areola was significantly (p < 0.05) increased by pregnancy both with breast-feeding (4.1 ± 2.3 cm) and without (3.5 ± 2.6 cm) when compared with the control group (1.2 ± 1.5 cm).
Conclusion: The vertical mammaplasty has less tendency for pseudoptosis (bottoming out), but the alterations of breast volume brought about by pregnancy and breast-feeding may affect the final outcome of even this good reduction mammaplasty method.