Background: There is controversy regarding the superiority of the vertical scar reduction technique versus the inverted T–shaped reduction technique for breast reduction surgery.
Methods: Two hundred fifty-five patients were randomized to either the vertical scar reduction or inverted T–shaped reduction technique immediately before surgery over a 5-year period. Patients completed the Health Utilities Index Mark 3, Short Form-36, Breast-Related Symptoms Questionnaire, and Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire at 1 week preoperatively and 1, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. Data were treated according to intention-to-treat principles. The primary outcome was the difference in the change in Health Utilities Index Mark 3 score from baseline to 12 months postoperatively between the two techniques.
Results: Patients undergoing either technique gained a statistically significant and clinically important improvement from baseline to 1 year postoperatively in the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (vertical scar reduction, 0.81, 0.16 to 0.87, 0.19; inverted T–shaped reduction, 0.79, 0.20 to 0.89, 0.15) and the Breast-Related Symptoms Questionnaire (vertical scar reduction, 50.26, 12.98 to 95.59, 9.36; inverted T–shaped reduction, 50.06, 12.50 to 94.09, 9.86). No difference in mean change in scores from baseline to 12 months postoperatively was seen in any of the quality of life questionnaires between the techniques.
Conclusions: There was a clinically important improvement between baseline and 1 year postoperatively in both groups in the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 and the Breast-Related Symptoms Questionnaire. The authors conclude that the techniques are similar when quality of life is the outcome of interest.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, I.