Reduction mammaplasty: its role in breast conservation surgery for early-stage breast cancer

Ann Plast Surg. 1998 Sep;41(3):234-9.


Segmental resection and radiotherapy is an accepted alternative over mastectomy for small, staged breast malignancies. However, women with large, pendulous breasts have been documented to have poorer cosmetic outcomes when undergoing irradiation after breast conservative surgery compared with women with small- or medium-size breasts, thought to be caused by dose inhomogeneity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of combining reduction mammaplasty with breast conservative surgery to facilitate postoperative irradiation. Between 1988 and 1996, 10 women have undergone bilateral reduction mammaplasty for breast malignancy followed by radiation therapy at our center. All women wished to avoid mastectomy (average age, 59 years). All lesions were detected preoperatively on mammography. The average amount of tissue removed was 945 g per breast. A variety of reduction techniques were employed to include the malignant lesions. All patients received 50 Gy of radiation therapy delivered in 25 fractions following reduction mammaplasty during a 5-week period. Radiation therapy was usually initiated within 4 weeks following surgery. Follow-up is currently 37 months, with all patients being followed for at least 8 months. No patients have had complications from the surgery or radiation therapy. No local recurrent malignancies have been detected. Cosmesis has been good to excellent in all patients. Despite equivalent survival outcomes for mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer, certain women are not good candidates for breast conservation and radiation therapy. An alternative for women with large, pendulous breasts that combines breast conservation therapy and concurrent bilateral reduction mammaplasty should be considered. This combination, in selected women, provides good functional and cosmetic results, and at the same time minimizes the potential difficulties of radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods*
  • Mastectomy, Segmental / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Treatment Outcome