Reduction mammaplasty with nipple-areolar transposition on a medial pedicle was designed as an alternative to amputation and free nipple graft for women with severe mammary hypertrophy. The purpose of this study was to review the viability and sensory outcome of the nipple-areolar complex (NAC) in 72 women (133 breasts) after medial pedicle and inferior pedicle reduction mammaplasty between 1996 and 2000. The medial pedicle was used for 41 women (79 breasts) with moderate to severe mammary hypertrophy. An inferior pedicle was used for 31 women (54 breasts) with mild to moderate mammary hypertrophy. Mean follow-up for all patients was 25 months. Total sensation of the NAC was obtained in 68 of 79 breasts (86%) after medial pedicle reduction mammaplasty and in 50 of 54 breasts (92%) after inferior pedicle reduction mammaplasty. Total viability of the NAC occurred in 74 of 79 breasts (94%) after medial pedicle reduction mammaplasty and in 53 of 54 breasts (98%) after inferior pedicle reduction mammaplasty. Quantitative sensory testing of the NAC using the pressure-specified sensory device demonstrated that static and moving sensory thresholds of the NAC are lowest in the inferior pedicle group followed by the control group and the medial pedicle group. It can be concluded from this study that the medial and inferior pedicle techniques are capable of supporting vascularity and innervation to the NAC. The medial pedicle technique for severe mammary hypertrophy is a good alternative to free nipple grafting. The amount of breast tissue removed does not correlate with sensory outcome for both inferior and medial pedicle techniques. The pressure-specified sensory device is an excellent means of assessing sensory outcome.
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