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Long-Term Sensory Recovery of Nipple-Areola Complex following Superolateral Pedicled Reduction Mammaplasty

Longo, Benedetto M.D., Ph.D.; Campanale, Antonella M.D.; Farcomeni, Alessio Ph.D.; Santanelli, Fabio M.D., Ph.D.

doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182a3bf05
Breast: Original Articles

Background: The aim of this study was to investigate nipple-areola complex sensation at 48-month follow-up following superolateral pedicled reduction mammaplasty using the pressure-specified sensory device.

Methods: Data regarding nipple-areola complex sensation for static and moving one- and two-point discrimination were collected from 30 active group hypertrophic-breasted patients undergoing superolateral pedicled reduction mammaplasty preoperatively, at 6 months, and at 48 months, and from a control group of 30 unoperated women with normal-sized breasts. Breast volume was assessed using the BREAST-V instrument.

Results: For the nipple, static one-point discrimination showed that mean pressure thresholds for the active group at 48 months were 4.10 and 4.19 times higher than preoperatively and in the control group (p < 0.001), respectively; moving one-point discrimination showed that mean pressure thresholds for the active group at 48 months were 4.08 and 3.23 times higher than preoperatively and in the control group (p < 0.001), respectively. For the areola, static one-point discrimination showed that mean pressure thresholds in the active group at 48 months were 4.12 and 4.83 times higher than preoperatively and in the control group (p < 0.001), respectively; moving one-point discrimination showed that mean pressure thresholds from the active group at 48 months were 4.56 and 4.46 times higher than preoperatively and in the control group (p < 0.001), respectively.

Conclusions: Despite a slight worsening at 6 months after surgery, patients who had undergone superolateral pedicled reduction mammaplasty showed significant nipple-areola complex sensibility reduction at 48-month follow-up. Although the nipple-areola complex of hypertrophic-breasted patients was seen to be nonsignificantly less sensitive than normal-sized breasts, a significant decrease of sensation was observed following reduction mammaplasty.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, II.

Rome, Italy

From the Plastic Surgery Unit, Sant’Andrea Hospital, NESMOS Department, and the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, School of Medicine and Psychology, “Sapienza” University of Rome.

Received for publication April 4, 2013; accepted May 30, 2013.

Presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Plastic Surgeons, in Antalya, Turkey, May 23 through 26, 2013.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Fabio Santanelli, M.D., Ph.D., Via di Grottarossa 1035-39, Rome 00189, Italy, fabio.santanelli@uniroma1.it

©2013American Society of Plastic Surgeons