Reduction mammaplasty and mastopexy in previously irradiated breasts

Scott L. Spear, Samir S. Rao, Ketan M. Patel, Maurice Y. Nahabedian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Little data exist on the safety of elective breast surgery following breast conservation therapy. Objectives: The authors evaluate their experience performing reduction mammaplasties and mastopexies in previously irradiated breasts. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all reduction mammaplasties and mastopexies in previously irradiated breasts performed by the 2 senior authors (MYN and SLS) from 1995 to 2012 (n = 18). Patient records were analyzed for demographics, perioperative and postoperative details, and complications. Results: During the study period, 12 reduction mammaplasties and 6 mastopexies were performed on breasts previously treated with breast conservation therapy. The average study participant age was 49.5 years, and average body mass index was 29. Average preoperative bra cup size was D/DD. One patient was a former smoker; 17 were nonsmokers. Eleven of the 18 patients had been previously treated with chemotherapy; average time between radiation therapy and surgery was 2.5 years. Average specimen weight in the 12 reduction mammaplasties was 623 g. Twenty-two percent (n = 4) of patients experienced a total of 5 minor complications; none required a return to the operating room. One patient (6%) experienced a major complication resulting in approximately 50% loss of breast tissue, which was reconstructed with a latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap. Seventeen patients (94%) had successful outcomes with preoperative goals achieved. Conclusions: In the previously irradiated breast, reduction mammaplasty and mastopexy should be approached with extra caution, but the surgeries may still be safely and successfully performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-78
Number of pages5
JournalAesthetic surgery journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • breast conservation therapy
  • breast irradiation
  • breast surgery
  • mastopexy
  • radiation
  • reduction mammaplasty
  • wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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