Breast contouring surgery after massive weight loss is challenging because of unfavorable features such as inelastic skin, volume depletion, loss of upper pole fullness, and significant ptosis.
An approach is presented for autoaugmentation using a lateral intercostal artery perforator (LICAP) flap secured with a pectoralis muscle sling, along with mastopexy based on vertical scar principles.
In a total of 8 patients (average age: 39.3 years, range: 29–57; average body mass index: 30.8 kg/m2, range: 25.7–39.1) with breast ptosis and volume depletion after a mean weight loss of 121.9 pounds (range: 80–210), LICAP flap (n = 16) was used with turnover flap design to increase breast volume under a pectoralis muscle sling. Vertical design mastopexy (n = 16) was achieved at the same time, resulting in an L-shaped final scar.
All the patients were followed for at least 1 year after the surgery. Patient satisfaction was high at long-term follow-up (average: 16.8 months, range: 12–24), with stable and pleasing breast shape and a mean patient ranking for aesthetic outcome of 4.2 (of 5). None of the patients developed any flap necrosis or fat necrosis.
An alternative approach is described for the combined treatment of breast ptosis and volume loss in the bariatric patient, with promising long-term results. The muscle sling seems to help prevent tissue descent, without evidence of pseudoptosis at long term. It is shown that vertical scar techniques can be successfully used even in bariatric patients.
From the Division of Plastic Surgery at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Received October 1, 2009, and accepted for publication, after revision, January 31, 2010.
Reprints: Mustafa Akyurek, MD, PhD, FACS, Division of Plastic Surgery, UMass Medical Center, 281 Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA 01605. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.