Background: The purpose of this article was to review the senior author's 20 years of experience in the treatment of pediatric breast abnormalities, to propose a classification system for their treatment, and to provide a synopsis of treatment options.
Methods: Congenital and acquired breast anomalies were identified in a retrospective chart review (n = 66). Breast abnormalities were classified as hyperplastic (n = 44), deformational (n = 11), or hypoplastic (n = 11). Hyperplastic abnormalities included gynecomastia, hyperplasia, polythelia, polymastia, and giant fibroadenoma. Deformational abnormalities were categorized as either iatrogenic (previous thoracostomy, thoracotomy, or tumor excision) or traumatic (thermal or penetrating injuries). Hypoplastic abnormalities included athelia, unilateral and bilateral hypoplasia, tuberous breast, and Poland syndrome. Type of surgery, age at initial operation, and number of operations were recorded for all patients.
Results: Hyperplastic abnormalities were treated with breast reduction techniques and required the fewest operations per patient (1.14), followed by iatrogenic breast injury (2.1 per patient). The average number of procedures required for hypoplastic abnormalities was 2.45 per patient. The highest reoperation rates were seen in patients with burn injuries to the breast and patients with Poland syndrome. Mean age at initial operation was highest in the deformational group (18.5 years) and lowest in the hyperplastic group (17.4 years).
Conclusion: Classification of pediatric breast abnormalities and considerations about timing for surgery and the likely need for staged operations aid in anticipating and optimizing clinical outcomes.