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Mammographic Changes Following Reduction Mammaplasty

Brown Forst E. M.D.; Sargent, Steven K. M.D.; Cohen, Steven R. M.D.; Morain, William D. M.D.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: November 1987

Mammographic findings after reduction mamma-plasty may be similar to those seen with carcinoma. A knowledge of ihe expected mammographic alterations would be helpful in differentiating postoperative changes from those seen with carcinoma of the breast. Accordingly, the clinical records and mammograms of patients who underwent reduction mammaplasty at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center between March of 1977 and July of 1985 were analyzed.

Forty-two patients had at least one mammographic examination following reduction mammaplasty. Peri-areolar soft-tissue changes and inferior pole alterations were present in almost all examinations of patients during the first 6 months after operation, but they decreased during the next few years. Asymmetrical densities were present in approximately half the patients throughout the follow-up period but decreased in degree. Parenchymal calcifications occurred later; few x-rays showed these calcifications during the first year, but 50 percent were apparent after 2 years. Evidence of fat necrosis occurred in approximately 10 percent. Four patients had biopsies for suspicious densities. Chronic inflammation and inclusion cyst were reported.

We believe that changes after reduction mammaplasty are predictable and can usually be differentiated from those associated with cancer.

©1987American Society of Plastic Surgeons