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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Treatment of symptomatic macromastia in a breast unit

Fernando Hernanz13*, Rosa Santos2, Arantxa Arruabarrena1, José Schneider23 and Manuel Gómez Fleitas1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, University of Cantabria, Hospital "Marqués de Valdecilla", Avda Valdecilla s/n, 39008 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

2 Department of Gynecology, University of Cantabria, Hospital "Marqués de Valdecilla", Avda Valdecilla s/n, 39008 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

3 Breast Cancer Unit, University of Cantabria, Hospital "Marqués de Valdecilla", Avda Valdecilla s/n, 39008 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

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World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2010, 8:93  doi:10.1186/1477-7819-8-93

Published: 1 November 2010

Abstract

Background

Patients suffering from symptomatic macromastia are usually underserved, as they have to put up with very long waiting lists and are usually selected under restrictive criteria. The Oncoplastic Breast Surgery subspeciality requires a cross-specialty training, which is difficult, in particular, for trainees who have a background in general surgery, and not easily available. The introduction of reduction mammaplasty into a Breast Cancer Unit as treatment for symptomatic macromastia could have a synergic effect, making the scarce therapeutic offer at present available to these patients, who are usually treated in Plastic Departments, somewhat larger, and accelerating the uptake of oncoplastic training as a whole and, specifically, the oncoplastic breast conserving procedures based on the reduction mammaplasty techniques such as displacement conservative techniques and onco-therapeutic mammaplasty. This is a retrospective study analyzing the outcome of reduction mammaplasty for symptomatic macromastia in our Breast Cancer Unit.

Methods

A cohort study of 56 patients who underwent bilateral reduction mammaplasty at our Breast Unit between 2005 and 2009 were evaluated; morbidity and patient satisfaction were considered as end points. Data were collected by reviewing medical records and interviewing patients.

Results

Eight patients (14.28%) presented complications in the early postoperative period, two of them being reoperated on. The physical symptoms disappeared or significantly improved in 88% of patients and the degree of satisfaction with the care process and with the overall outcome were really high.

Conclusion

Our experience of the introduction of reduction mammaplasty in our Breast Cancer Unit has given good results, enabling us to learn the use of different reduction mammaplasty techniques using several pedicles which made it posssible to perform oncoplastic breast conserving surgery. In our opinion, this management policy could bring clear advantages both to patients (large-breasted and those with a breast cancer) and surgeons.