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Juvenile Gigantomastia: Presentation of Four Cases and Review of the Literature

Baker, Stephen B. DDS, MD*; Burkey, Brooke A. BS; Thornton, Paul MD; LaRossa, Don MD*

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Juvenile gigantomastia is a benign disorder of the breast in which one or both of the breasts undergo a massive increase in size during adolescence. The authors present a series of four cases of juvenile gigantomastia, advances in endocrine management, and the results of surgical therapy. Three patients were treated for initial management of juvenile gigantomastia and one patient was evaluated for a gestationally induced recurrence of juvenile gigantomastia. The three women who presented for initial management had a complete evaluation to rule out other etiologies of breast enlargement. Endocrine therapy was used in 2 patients, one successfully. A 17-year-old girl had unilateral hypertrophy treated with reduction surgery. She had no recurrence and did not require additional surgery. Two patients, ages 10 and 12 years, were treated at a young age with reduction mammaplasty, and both of these girls required secondary surgery for treatment. One patient underwent subtotal mastectomy with implant reconstruction but required two subsequent operations for removal of recurrent hypertrophic breast tissue. The second patient started a course of tamoxifen followed by reduction surgery. While on tamoxifen, the second postoperative result remained stable, and the contralateral breast, which had exhibited some minor hypertrophy, regressed in size. The fourth patient was a gravid 24-year-old who had been treated for juvenile gigantomastia at age 14, and presented with gestationally induced recurrent hypertrophy. The authors’ experience has been that juvenile gigantomastia in young patients is prone to recurrence, and is in agreement with previous studies that subcutaneous mastectomy provides definitive treatment. However, tamoxifen may be a useful adjunct and may allow stable results when combined with reduction mammaplasty. If successful, the use of tamoxifen would eliminate the potential complications of breast prostheses. Lastly, the 17-year-old patient did not require secondary surgery, suggesting that older patients may be treated definitively with reduction surgery alone.

*University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA; the †University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; and the ‡Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Received Jan 25, 2001.

Accepted for publication Jan 25, 2001.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr LaRossa, Department of Plastic Surgery, 10 Penn Tower, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.