Learning Objectives: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Understand the preoperative considerations that must be weighed to appropriately assess operative risk of breast reduction. 2. Have a full understanding of the basic techniques that are available to treat the patient with macromastia. 3. Identify which patients are best suited to a particular technique. 4. Identify common complications associated with breast reduction and understand how to treat them.
Summary: Breast reduction remains a basic plastic surgery procedure designed to alleviate upper torso complaints resulting from macromastia. Historically, the inverted-T inferior pedicle procedure was the dominant technique for the treatment of macromastia for 40 years. The past two decades have seen a reexamination of breast reduction technique in an attempt to improve on the results and minimize complications. As a result, a new genre of procedures based on different pedicles and short-scar skin management techniques has been introduced. With these new procedures, the plastic surgeon now has a variety of different techniques that can be offered for reducing the hypertrophic breast. Strategically applying the concepts inherent in these procedures to the correct patient can provide outstanding results with few complications. In this article, the concepts and results of these various procedures are discussed to give the reader a basic understanding of the options available for breast reduction.