Breast cancer in reduction mammoplasty: case reports and a survey of plastic surgeons

Plast Reconstr Surg. 1998 Feb;101(2):361-4. doi: 10.1097/00006534-199802000-00014.


A discussion of occult breast carcinomas in breast reduction surgery has not occurred in the last 25 years. My recent experience in discovering two occult breast carcinomas in breast reduction specimens led to the creation of a survey of local plastic surgeons and a review of the literature with the goal being precise recommendations for such occurrences. Our survey of breast reductions performed on 2576 patients shows a 0.16 percent incidence of occult breast carcinoma, significantly lower than the 0.38 percent incidence seen in the Snyderman and Lizardo study of 1959. This decrease in the rate of occult breast carcinomas could be explained by many advances in early detection, improvements in patient education, and more thorough pathologic examination of the surgical specimens. The results of this survey and review suggest that we as plastic surgeons performing breast reduction surgery be well versed in all aspects of breast cancer detection, evaluation, and treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty*
  • Mastectomy, Radical
  • Middle Aged
  • Reoperation
  • Surgery, Plastic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires