Outcomes of Reduction Mammaplasty in Adolescents vs Average-Age Patients: A 3-Year Single-Center Retrospective Analysis

Ochsner J. 2024 Spring;24(1):14-21. doi: 10.31486/toj.23.0079.


Background: The onset of macromastia symptomatology occurs most often at puberty, yet most females undergo breast reduction surgery during the fifth decade of life. Adolescent patients with macromastia may benefit from reduction mammaplasty, yet outcome data are limited to a small number of institutions. Methods: We conducted a retrospective medical records review of all patients who underwent reduction mammaplasty at our institution during the years 2016 to 2019. Patients were divided into 2 cohorts based on age: adolescent (10 to 24 years) and average age (≥44 years). Demographics and outcome measures were collected from follow-up evaluations at 1-week, 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month intervals postoperatively. Results: A total of 141 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. Mean age at surgery was 19 ± 3.2 years in the adolescent group and 53 ± 7.4 years in the average-age group. No significant differences in complications related to wound healing (42.9% vs 50.0%, P=0.418) or total postoperative complications (18.4% vs 19.6%, P=0.863) were found between adolescent and average-age patients, respectively. Conclusion: Complications related to wound healing are common in reduction mammaplasty, although rates of life-threatening complications are rare. In this 3-year review comparing the outcomes of adolescent vs average-age patients who underwent reduction mammaplasty at the same institution, no significant differences in postoperative complication rates were found. Our data suggest that adolescent patients with macromastia should not defer reduction mammaplasty out of concern for higher complication rates because of age alone.

Keywords: Adolescent; macromastia; mammaplasty.