Negative Pressure Wound Therapy for Improved Nipple Survival in Large Volume Reduction Mammaplasty

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Aesthetic plastic surgery


BACKGROUND: Large volume breast reductions are at increased risk of nipple ischemia and necrosis due to tenuous blood supply of long pedicles. We adapted incisional negative pressure wound therapy to augment nipple survival in such patients undergoing mammaplasty by inferior pedicle technique.

METHODS: Patients with nipple-to-inframammary fold distance >14 cm were informed of increased risk of requiring free nipple graft. All patients underwent inferior pedicle technique with Wise pattern skin incision. Once incisions were closed and the nipple-areolar complex was inset, the complex was assessed for vascularity. In 12 cases there was evidence of compromised arterial inflow or venous outflow. For these patients, incisional negative pressure wound therapy was applied to the bilateral nipple-areolar complexes for 5-7 days.

RESULTS: None of the 12 patients (24 breasts) in this series experienced nipple-areolar complex ischemia or necrosis. Only 2 patients experienced delayed wound healing which was successfully managed by local wound care.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the utility of negative pressure wound therapy in nipple survival for at-risk patients. We believe it augments healing by allowing improved micro-circulation.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each submission to which Evidence-Based Medicine rankings are applicable. This excludes Review Articles, Book Reviews, and manuscripts that concern Basic Science, Animal Studies, Cadaver Studies, and Experimental Studies. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors

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ePub ahead of print