Predictive risk factors of complications in reduction mammoplasty—analysis of three different pedicles

Johanna Palve, Marika Kuuskeri, Tiina Luukkaala, Eija Suorsa

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Background: Reduction mammoplasty can be performed in several different techniques. Understanding the complication profile and risk factors in different reduction methods can help in choosing a technique, which serves the patient best. The authors present their experience of three different reduction techniques [superomedial pedicle (SMP), superior pedicle (SP) and inferior pedicle (IP)] with an emphasis on predictors of complications. Methods: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database of breast reductions between 2014 and 2020 was performed. Patient’s demographics [age, body mass index (BMI), comorbidities, smoking, nipple to sternal notch distance (N-SN)], operative details (pedicle, tissue resected, drains, operating surgeon) and complications according to Clavien-Dindo classification were assessed. Study variables were compared against overall complication rates for the three techniques. Results: In total, 760 patients underwent reduction mammoplasty, including 578 (76%) bilateral and 182 (24%) unilateral operations. Of patients, 477 (63%) were operated with SMP, 201 (26%) with IP and 82 (11%) with SP. An average weight of resected tissue per breast was 460 g. Overall complication rate was 38%. The rate was higher in IP group (50%) compared to SMP (36%) and SP (22%) groups (P<0.001). Complications were mainly minor and related to delayed wound healing. The rate for major complications was 4%. Multivariable analysis showed that complications were associated independently with IP [odds ratio (OR) 1.89, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.33–2.69], age <50 years (OR 1.87, 95% CI: 1.32–2.65), bilateral operation (OR 1.67, 95% CI: 1.00–2.76) and resected tissue weight ≥650 g per breast (OR 2.02, 95% CI: 1.36–2.99). Each factor contributed 1 point in the creation of a risk-scoring system. The overall complication rate was increased as the presence of statistically significant risk factors (IP, age <50, bilateral operation and/or resected tissue ≥650 g per breast) increased (31%, 38%, 59% and 90% for number of 1, 2, 3 and 4 risk factors respectively, P<0.001). Conclusions: The rate of complication can be predicted by a risk-scoring system. In increasing variety of patients undergoing reduction mammoplasty, careful consideration of the best operation technique is important to prevent complications and costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1309-1322
Number of pages14
JournalGland Surgery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Complications
  • Inferior pedicle (ip)
  • Reduction mammoplasty
  • Superior pedicle (sp)
  • Superomedial pedicle (smp)

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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