Management of the ptotic or hypertrophic breast in immediate autologous breast reconstruction: a comparison between the wise and vertical reduction patterns for mastectomy

Lin IC, Bergey M, Sonnad SS, Serletti JM, Wu LC

Ann Plast Surg 2013 Mar;70(3):264-70

PMID: 23038147


BACKGROUND: The Wise pattern can be used in mastectomies to address the excess skin in the ptotic or hypertrophic breast; however, limitations include mastectomy flap necrosis (MFN) and poor shape. The vertical pattern can potentially reduce the amount of MFN with improved aesthetic results. This study compares the Wise and vertical mastectomy patterns in immediate, autologous breast reconstruction.

METHODS: Thirty-three patients with grade 2 or 3 ptosis who elected to undergo immediate, autologous breast reconstruction were prospectively recruited into 2 nonrandomized cohorts. Of total, 17 patients (26 reconstructions) had Wise pattern and 16 (28 reconstructions) had vertical pattern. All patients were followed for MFN, time for wound healing, and postoperative complications. Patient and surgeon surveys rated the aesthetics of the reconstructions.

RESULTS: The 2 groups did not differ in age, body mass index, smoking, or breast measurements. The Wise group had significantly larger areas of MFN, higher number of postoperative visits, and longer wound-healing periods, compared with the vertical group (P < 0.05). There was no difference in time to adjuvant therapy or additional procedures. Patient surveys rated both incisions with equal satisfaction, except for symmetry that rated better in the Wise group. Surgeon surveys showed better scores for the vertical incision.

CONCLUSIONS: The Wise pattern is associated with significantly more MFN and prolonged wound care. Despite this complication, patients rate their breast reconstructions favorably, regardless of the type of incision. Both the Wise and vertical patterns can be safely used in skin-sparing mastectomies with immediate, autologous breast reconstruction with good aesthetic outcomes. The authors recommend the vertical pattern because of less MFN and surgeon-preferred aesthetics.

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