Extended fasciocutaneous flaps for autologous augmentation mastopexy with upper body lift after massive weight loss: an early experience

Ann Plast Surg. 2015 May:74 Suppl 1:S41-5. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000413.


Introduction: Common upper body findings after massive weight loss (MWL) include breast ptosis, projection loss, flattening, inframammary fold descent, and back rolls. Although implants address volume loss, manifestations of circumferential excess (ie, back rolls) are ignored. We review our experience with extended lateral fasciocutaneous flaps incorporating circumferential excess tissue, typically removed in upper body lifts (UBLs), for autologous augmentation mastopexy.

Methods: We reviewed all cases of simultaneous autoaugmentation mastopexy and UBL, using extended lateral chest wall fasciocutaneous flaps, performed after MWL. Donor sites were designed with scars residing within the bra line (UBL) or midaxillary line [modified UBL (mUBL)]. We analyzed demographics, clinical indications, and complications.

Results: Between 2007 and 2013, 7 patients underwent 13 extended fasciocutaneous flap reconstructions for autoaugmentation mastopexy, combined with UBL or mUBL. All patients underwent procedures with flaps taken from the back or from the midaxillary line. Mean initial body mass index (BMI) was 50.1 kg/m2 with a preoperative, post-MWL BMI of 28.5 kg/m2, weight loss of 58 kg, and BMI decrease of 21.6 kg/m2. Among 6 patients who underwent bariatric surgery, the average interval between gastric bypass and autoaugmentation mastopexy was 41 months. Five patients underwent these procedures for aesthetic reasons, whereas 2 patients underwent breast reconstruction. Follow-up averaged 18 months. Complications occurred in 3 patients, with only 1 requiring reoperation.

Conclusions: Massive weight loss patients frequently present with breast volume loss and ptotic upper body soft tissue excess. Simultaneous mastopexy augmentation can be safely and reliably performed using extended fasciocutaneous flaps to autologously may be placed in aesthetically acceptable locations. Patients undergoing mUBLs with midaxillary line donor scars may conceal them with arms at their sides. Patients choosing back donor scars may conceal them within the bra line while having greater volumes available for augmentation. As is true with all flaps, one should assess distal tip perfusion before final inset, especially when using a flap extending to the midline back.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Fascia / transplantation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Weight Loss*