Nipple-Sparing Gigantomastia Breast Reduction: A Systematic Review

Ann Plast Surg. 2023 Mar 1;90(3):267-272. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000003415.


Introduction: There remains an unclear definition of the term "gigantomastia," with many studies using different parameters and measurements. Currently, the operative management and patient education for gigantomastia are outdated. The historical teaching that a free nipple graft is necessary in elongated pedicles to avoid nipple necrosis may not be factual. The principal goal of our review aims to determine the safety of nipple-sparing breast reductions on large ptotic breasts via complication rate analysis.

Methods: The systematic review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines of conduct for systematic review and meta-analysis. In October 2021, PubMed was used to search the US National Library of Medicine database. Rayyan Intelligent Systematic Review aided in screening studies by title then abstract. If inclusion criteria were met, the entire article was reviewed.

Results: Twenty-two articles satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The study was composed of 1689 total patients with a mean body mass index of 32.9 (±3.4). Mean midclavicle-to-nipple distance and resection weight per breast was 39 cm (±3.8) and 1423.8 g (±268.9), respectively. A Wise pattern was preferred in 77.3% of the studies, with an inferior (45.5%) and superomedial (45.5%) pedicle used most commonly. Complete nipple areolar complex necrosis (1.7%) was found in 4 studies, whereas partial (5.9%) was observed in 11. More common complications included delayed wound healing (17.4%), surgical site infection (14.3%), seroma (10.5%), scar hypertrophy (9.9%), and wound dehiscence (9.2%).

Conclusion: Nipple-sparing breast reduction surgery can be safely performed on hypertrophic and severely ptotic breasts with nipple areolar complications, such as partial or complete nipple areolar complex loss, at a rate less than previously believed.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / surgery
  • Mammaplasty*
  • Necrosis
  • Nipples* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome

Supplementary concepts

  • Gigantomastia