Background: An increasing number of male patients are presenting for treatment of male chest deformity after massive weight loss. The authors prefer to preserve the nipple-areola complex on a dermoglandular pedicle. They sought to identify detectability of technique, assess patient satisfaction, and outline a treatment algorithm for this population.
Methods: Ten male massive weight loss patients underwent chest-contouring procedures over a period of 6 years and were surveyed to identify satisfaction with reconstruction. Preoperative photographs were used to devise a classification system. Twenty-seven medical professionals evaluated and rated digital photographs of the patients.
Results: Eight patients had pedicled reconstructions and two had free-nipple grafts. Mean age was 42.9 ± 9.5 years, mean pre–weight loss body mass index was 54.1 ± 10.6, post–weight loss body mass index was 29.4 ± 4.5, and mean change in body mass index was 24.8 ± 9.7. All patients would have surgery again, nine would recommend it to a friend, six would go shirtless in public, nine reported no loss of nipple sensation, and three reported dysesthesias of the nipple-areola complex. Medical professionals reproducibly associated poor wound healing with free-nipple grafting and rated poorly positioned nipple-areola complexes with low aesthetic scores. Medical professional scores for chest contour and nipple-areola complex aesthetics did not correlate with technique and were lower than scores provided by the patients.
Conclusions: Patient satisfaction for treatment of the male chest deformity after massive weight loss is high. In carefully selected patients, preservation of the nipple-areola complex on a dermoglandular pedicle can aid in achieving an optimal aesthetic result.