Moufarrege Total Posterior Pedicle Breast Reduction 

Updated: Jun 03, 2021
Author: Richard J Moufarrège, MD, FRCSC; Chief Editor: James Neal Long, MD, FACS 

Overview

Background

Mammaplasty has improved so much over time that this operation currently boasts one of the greatest numbers of surgical techniques. Authors have introduced certain modifications for surgical improvements, leading to a gradual development of techniques reminiscent of the evolution of species. However, this evolution introduced some avant-garde techniques that were eventually abandoned and condemned. Because they were used without an associated safety procedure, the techniques were deemed dangerous and had the potential for various complications.[1]

History of the Procedure

The purpose of mammary reduction is to decrease breast volume.[2] With it, in the past, came the aesthetic need to add a grafted nipple in a trompe l'oeil fashion. That technique remains in use in some surgical centers, but it has fortunately been replaced in most of them by reductions with transposition of the nipple, with consequent conservation of the nipple as a flap based on a vascular pedicle. The quality of a transposed nipple is clearly superior to that of a grafted one.

A large pedicle was not required to keep the nipple alive; often, but not always, a thin strip of subcutaneous fat was sufficient. If the nipple survived the ischemia of fragile transposition, it remained inert, congestive for a long while, and insensitive, with its neighboring position being the only relation to underlying tissues. Innovators, attempting to increase the safety of the nipple by thickening its pedicle, recommended increasingly thicker fatty flaps. Survival of the nipple increased, yet the torsion of the pedicle, necessary for the new positioning of this important complex, often produced surprises.

These pedicles were always of superior origin (at the 12-, 10-, or 2-o'clock position), lateral origin (at the 3- or 9-o'clock position), or bifid but they were never of inferior origin. Resections were performed in the inferior quadrant of the breast, automatically cutting all bridges for a glandular pedicle of that quadrant. Because the transposition was always made toward the top, these glandular pedicles could not be very thick; if they were, displacement and torsion would be more damaging (see image below).

Before inferior and posterior pedicles, the upper Before inferior and posterior pedicles, the upper pedicle mammaplasties.

The advantage of creating a nipple of superior quality by adding a glandular bridge to the fatty pedicle was clear. Surgeons who were convinced of that principle also quickly understood that a thick pedicle cannot be soft enough to allow displacement of the nipple in all directions and without any constraint at will if that pedicle was superior, oblique, or lateral. They also understood that such a mobile pedicle cannot originate from close surrounding tissues to avoid mechanical constraints with mobilization of the nipple. Thus, it now appears obvious that such a pedicle should originate somewhere in the mass of breast tissue, allowing its displacement in all directions. This eliminates all limitations to the mobilization of the nipple-areola complex.

Evolution

In 1971, McKissock improved the pedicle of the nipple-areola complex by choosing 2 bridges. Between them, the inferior is quite large and connects the nipple to deep glandular tissue to allow vascularity of the nipple by perforating vessels emanating from the pectoralis major. Contrary to the previous techniques, McKissock's technique based the nipple on a mass of the breast gland that could represent 10-15% of the total mass of the remaining breast after reduction (see section A of the image below).

Amount of gland kept in the 3 techniques within th Amount of gland kept in the 3 techniques within the pedicle of the nipple-areola complex: A is the McKissock double-vertical pedicle at 10-15%. B is the Robbins inferior pedicle at 15-25%. C is the Moufarrège total pedicle at 100%.

Only a Biesenberger reduction based the nipple on a larger mass of the remaining breast; unfortunately, the Biesenberger method had too many problems inherent in the detachment of the breast from the pectoralis major, consequently causing interruption of the perforating vessels and a high rate of breast tissue necrosis. Thus, this type of reduction was abandoned.

In 1976, Robbins, carrying on McKissock's work, based the nipple on a simple inferior pedicle, probably a little larger than McKissock's.[3] Mammary mass in connection with the nipple had to represent 15-25% of the remaining mammary volume (see section B of the image above).

Since 1979, the author (Richard Moufarrege) has used 100% of the remaining gland as vascular support for the nipple-areola complex.[4] This pedicle initially was in a posterior and inferior position, but eventually it occupied the entire height of the gland. Care is always taken to include 100% of the remaining breast. This is the total dermoglandular posterior pedicle mammoplasty (see section C of the image above).

Problem

Breast surgery, either lifting or reduction, consists of more than displacing an inert mass or simply reducing as in other resection surgery on undesirable tissue. Indeed, one must also be greatly concerned with how the breast will appear afterward and with the other functions of the remaining breast tissue. Reducing the breast tissue and not taking care of the nipple, its position, and its relationship with the remaining volume of the breast has already been suggested by some authors, but, in the author's opinion, these are inelegant gestures that discount the talent of plastic surgeons and their potential to achieve artful results.

The surgeon must preserve the most important functions of a woman's breast, such as the quality of sensation of the nipple, contractility, and breastfeeding ability. Plastic surgeons also must be very demanding in terms of shape, proportion, volume, and scarring. Obtaining a nicely shaped breast on a normally built woman with minimal scars; harmonious features; and a well-placed, sensitive, contractile nipple is now the standard in mammaplasty.

Etiology

The origin of hypertrophies is multiple. Most breast hypertrophies do not have a precise etiology but seem to occur more frequently in some families. Hypomastia also seems to occur more frequently in some families. Apart from this majority of unexplained hypertrophies, a large number of hormones act on breast development, either by enlarging them or by reducing them. Among these are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, glucocorticoids, insulin, prolactin, growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and oxytocin.

Pathophysiology

Removed breast tissue is always examined in pathology in order to recognize the presence of any cancerous cells. If cancerous cells are present, the anatomical position of such tissues can be more easily evaluated in this one-block resection, which allows the oncological surgeon to determine the appropriate treatment in each individual case.

Some fibroadenomas are discovered without any clinical consequences on the future of the breast.

Presentation

Characteristics

This technique is performed openly on a breast completely stripped on its anterior aspect. Resection is performed at the periphery, and the entire remaining gland is in direct contact with the nipple and acts as the pedicle. Thus, the pedicle of the nipple-areola complex is composed of the entire remaining breast that extends from the lowest to the highest limit of the breast, hence the term total pedicle. This characteristic lends the technique of the total pedicle all its other peculiarities and advantages, described below.

Indications

Breast reduction is meant to treat the problem of very large breasts causing physical and physiological discomfort and pain. These problems can be so important and significant that, in some medical systems, their treatment is covered by medical insurance when the removed breast is larger than a certain average volume and weight.

Relevant Anatomy

The breast extends from the second to the seventh rib. Its horizontal limits are the sternal bone medially and the frontal axillary line laterally. The breast glandular tissue is primarily vascularized by the perforating vessels arising from the internal mammary artery and intercostal arteries. According to different authors, this posterior vascularization provides 70-80% of the breast blood supply. This has been the very determinant factor in the choice of using a total posterior pedicle mammaplasty.

In the author’s point of view, innervation of the nipple is both the first and the most important issue. It originates from the intercostal nerves, mainly the fourth, fifth, and sixth, which run along the aponeurosis of the chest muscles and, once in the central area of the breast, proceed ventrally through the breast tissue to the nipple-areola complex. The conservation of these nerves allows the total posterior pedicle to preserve the erogenic sensation of the nipple-areola complex (see image below).

The lateral and medial skin flaps are elevated and The lateral and medial skin flaps are elevated and held with hooks. Even the upper quadrant has been entirely denuded. No parcels of gland are kept with the skin. The entire gland is fully exposed up to the pectoralis major and is ready for the resection on an open-sky basis.

The second nervous system is the one running in the subcutaneous tissue in the surrounding areas of the nipple-areola complex and gives the nipple the tactile sensation but not the erogenic one. This last one is responsible of the recuperation of the tactile sensation of the nipple but has no effect on the recovery of the erogenic sensitivity.

For more information about the relevant anatomy, see Breast Anatomy.

Contraindications

In the author's opinion, severe obesity is a contraindication for the realization of a nice breast.

Patients should have completely stopped smoking 3 months before surgery and should not smoke during the 3 months after mammaplasty.[5]

The author recommends that patients lose excess of weight for many reasons, among which are to be healthier for the perioperative period, to have less scarring owing to shorter incisions, and to have an acceptable ratio between the new breast volume and the abdomen volume.

 

Workup

Laboratory Studies

See the list below:

  • In preparation for a breast reduction, blood analysis, including a complete blood cell count, is recommended. Coagulation studies are useful to assess for bleeding disorders.

Imaging Studies

See the list below:

  • A mammogram is recommended in patients older than 35 years.

 

Treatment

Preoperative Details

Sketches

The total pedicle is by no means limited to a drawing and can adapt to all sorts of incisions of preestablished drawings, yet the author favors a manner of drawing for reasons of simplicity, standardization, and, most importantly, conservation of reasonable scar length.

The author divides the breast into 3 categories (see image below).

Three categories of classification of ptosis and h Three categories of classification of ptosis and hypertrophy in the Moufarrège total posterior pedicle: category I, no ptosis, keyhole angle 90°; category II, nipple below inframammary fold, presence of breast volume at the level of the inframammary fold, keyhole angle 140°; category III, extreme ptosis, emptiness of the breast at the level of the inframammary fold, keyhole angle 180°.

See the list below:

  • Category I: The hypertrophy is not accompanied by ptosis. The nipple stays approximately at the level of the inframammary fold.

  • Category II: The nipple is lower than the inframammary fold, but the breast at the level of this fold has a certain consistency and a true glandular projection.

  • Category III: Hypertrophy is accompanied by extreme ptosis, the nipple is very low, and the breast at the level of the fold is practically empty.

Begin with the drawing of the keyhole described by Aufricht, with certain modifications.[6] Draw with the patient in a sitting position; the axis of each breast passes through the marked nipple, which is not necessarily the midclavicular line. Then, choose the keyhole position at the level of the inframammary fold (see image below).

Keyhole positioning on the axis of the breast at t Keyhole positioning on the axis of the breast at the level of the inframammary fold.

This position appears lower than that recommended in previous literature. This is because the position is measured on skin already stretched down by the weight of hypertrophy. Once the hypertrophy is treated, the new nipple site spontaneously rises 1-2 cm.

The upper curved part of the keyhole is not a circle, but an oval with a longer horizontal axis, for 2 reasons. First, upon closing (A joins C), it has a tendency to look circular, whereas a circle would lead to a vertical oval figure when closed. Second, the natural tendency of tissues, caused by weight and trimming, is a vertically elongating effect on the nipple-areola complex. The opening of the keyhole arms (angle AB/CD) is 90° for category I, 140° for category II, and 180° for category III (see image below).

Three categories of classification of ptosis and h Three categories of classification of ptosis and hypertrophy in the Moufarrège total posterior pedicle: category I, no ptosis, keyhole angle 90°; category II, nipple below inframammary fold, presence of breast volume at the level of the inframammary fold, keyhole angle 140°; category III, extreme ptosis, emptiness of the breast at the level of the inframammary fold, keyhole angle 180°.

See Advantages in Postoperative Details for a description of why this technique allows such wide-angle openings of the keyhole. After 5 cm, keyhole arms curve toward each other to join on the inframammary fold (see images below).

Drawing of the key hole on the patient in a sittin Drawing of the key hole on the patient in a sitting position. In this case (Moufarrege category II), opening of the key hole arms is 140°.
Aperture of the keyhole arms and the first 5 cm of Aperture of the keyhole arms and the first 5 cm of the arms before curving.

Intraoperative Details

Incisions

With the patient positioned supine, make the circular periareolar incision 5 cm in diameter to definitively fit a 4-cm space. This imparts a particular conical projection on the nipple-areola complex.

Perform an inverted-U incision to delimit the dermal pedicle. With a width of 6 cm, it extends from the superior part of the nipple-areola complex to the inframammary line. The interior area of that inverted U is deepithelialized. Then, perform full-thickness incisions of the skin based on preestablished drawings (see image below).

Continuation of the keyhole arms after the first 5 Continuation of the keyhole arms after the first 5 cm until they connect on the inframammary line.

Undermining flaps and exposure of gland

Detach skin and subcutaneous fat flaps from the breast gland up to the aponeurosis of the pectoralis major muscle. Upon completion of the undermining, the breast is fully exposed on the frontal aspect, while the posterior aspect remains entirely attached to the pectoralis major aponeurosis (see image below).

Designing the dermal inferior pedicle and its dis- Designing the dermal inferior pedicle and its dis-epidermization. A full-thickness incision is made around that pedicle and along the drawings of the modified keyhole.

Technically, undermining is performed quite easily by holding the internal, then superior, and then external flaps separately with skin hooks, successively placed in 2 positions at the same time in points A and B, A and C, and, finally, C and D. The assistant raises these points. The surgeon then can easily, by putting some pressure with a sponge on the gland with one hand, define with the other hand with a No. 10 scalpel blade the cleavage plane that is established between glandular tissue and subcutaneous fatty tissue. This allows for a practically bloodless dissection (see image above).

Pay special attention to detachment of the exterior flap in the subaxillary region. Avoid cutting the areolar tissue at the extremity of the external quadrant of the breast to preserve intercostal nerves. Note the fifth in particular; these nerves run along the aponeurosis of the pectoralis, through that areolar tissue, medially toward the center of the breast, and then ascend through the mammary gland anteriorly to join the nipple-areola complex (see image below).

The lateral and medial skin flaps are elevated and The lateral and medial skin flaps are elevated and held with hooks. Even the upper quadrant has been entirely denuded. No parcels of gland are kept with the skin. The entire gland is fully exposed up to the pectoralis major and is ready for the resection on an open-sky basis.

Resection

The advantages of working openly on a breast are immediately recognizable. Resection is performed easily in areas most in need. Large hypertrophies typically are characterized by a particular excess of glandular tissue spreading quite far in the subaxillary region for which resection in the external quadrant is the most important. Save that areolar tissue for the same reason one safeguards the intercostal nerves. No resection is performed in the inferior or superior quadrants. These 2 quadrants are the protected zones of the total dermoglandular pedicle. Resection in the internal quadrant is quite small (see images below).

Desepidermisation of the dermal inferior pedicle i Desepidermisation of the dermal inferior pedicle is made easier by the strip shaving technique.
This photograph shows the inferior dermal pedicle This photograph shows the inferior dermal pedicle after desepidermisation.

Reconstitution

The nipple is set in its new position in the circle obtained by the closing of the curved line through the junction of A and C corners. Technically, begin by joining the upper limit of the areola to the center of curved line AC with a stitch (see image below).

The full thickness incision is performed first aro The full thickness incision is performed first around the dermal pedicle and then along the external drawings.

The second stitch in 1 stage brings the lower limit of the areola against points A and C.

The third cardinal stitch of the reconstitution brings points B and D together to close the vertical line (see image below).

The gland is entirely denuded on its anterior aspe The gland is entirely denuded on its anterior aspect by elevating the medial, upper, and lateral cutaneous flaps. The cleavage plane separates the flap subcutaneous tissue from the gland tissue.

If the vertical line is too long (>6 cm), reduce it by retaining an elliptical horizontal area in the lower part of the line to create an inverted T with a very short horizontal arm (2-5 cm) (see image below).

The hand of the surgeon holds the entire gland bef The hand of the surgeon holds the entire gland before the resection procedure.

Pay special attention at the closure of the 2 corners at the junction of the vertical line, with the circular one around the areola and the horizontal one in the inframammary fold. To avoid a small loss of skin at these corners, keep a small excess of skin in a deerfoot fashion (see image below).

Resection is performed in the medial and mainly in Resection is performed in the medial and mainly in the external quadrant. No resection in the lower or upper quadrants.

Because of skin undermining and centralization of all remaining glandular mass, this technique avoids the classic anchor scar that traditionally results from most techniques using preestablished sketches (see image below).

The surgeon's hand holds the entire denuded breast The surgeon's hand holds the entire denuded breast tissue while showing the pectoralis major muscle at the end of the elevation of the upper flap. For a better upper breast contour, the muscle fascia is divided, allowing the conserved upper quadrant of the breast to move upward, printing a convex effect on the upper part of the breast.

Tissue disposition

The 6-cm-wide dermal pedicle, which, according to the case, is originally from 2-5 times the length of the AB/CD vertical line, must now occupy a 4-5 cm length at the end of the operation and, consequently, must intensively pucker. This creates a dermal inferior vault all the more resistant to traction and elongation; thus it is thicker and doubled-up by the dermis of the cutaneous flaps that cover it. This provides the total pedicle a certain capacity to resist stretching and, consequently, classic pseudoptosis, by lengthening of the vertical line, slipping of the gland in a subnipple position, and upper orientation of the nipples (see image below).

Left: The surgical piece is removed from the left Left: The surgical piece is removed from the left breast. It consists of a very small resection in the medial quadrant and a very consistent resection in the lateral quadrant. This demonstrates the outstanding facility to remove the subaxillary gland in patients presenting very wide hypertrophy going as far as the medial axillary line. Right: The surgeon's hand holds the remaining breast tissue pulled downward in order to show the integrity of the upper quadrant after resection.

Postoperative Details

Advantages

See the list below:

  • Absolute nipple security: As a result of pediculation of the nipple-areola complex on the entire remaining gland, viability of the nipple-areola complex is ensured. The author has never experienced nipple loss in more than 5000 bilateral mammaplasties from 1979-2005.

  • Relative security of cutaneous flaps: Undermining of the lateral cutaneous flaps, entirely free of glandular tissue, allows use of the skin to its maximum elasticity, thus allowing important cutaneous trimming and a secure width-to-length ratio (1:1), in comparison with the ratios of 1:2 and 1:3 associated with classic techniques. In addition to superior viability of cutaneous flaps, this makes breast reshaping and lifting much more efficient and homogeneous.

  • Mammary projection: Because the remaining gland is entirely in a central position, an exceptional projection of the breast and nipple is achieved that is consistent from patient to patient (see image below).

    Left: The surgical piece is removed from the left Left: The surgical piece is removed from the left breast. It consists of a very small resection in the medial quadrant and a very consistent resection in the lateral quadrant. This demonstrates the outstanding facility to remove the subaxillary gland in patients presenting very wide hypertrophy going as far as the medial axillary line. Right: The surgeon's hand holds the remaining breast tissue pulled downward in order to show the integrity of the upper quadrant after resection.
  • Unique superior profile: Undermining of superior skin flaps up to the aponeurosis, with complete preservation of the superior quadrant of the breast, creates an esthetically pleasing projection over the nipple area (see image above).

  • Reduction of pseudoptosis: Pseudoptosis by stretching of the inferior vertical line is reduced because of the presence of a strong dermal inferior vault, explained previously (see image above).

  • Breastfeeding ability: Postreduction breastfeeding is entirely possible and normal because galactophorous channels are preserved. Consequently, the remaining mammary gland, capable of galactogenous activity, is in direct communication with the nipple.

  • Preservation of nipple sensation: Preservation of intercostal nerves responsible for nipple-areola sensibility ensures, without doubt, a conservation of nipple sensation (see image below).

    The lateral and medial skin flaps are elevated and The lateral and medial skin flaps are elevated and held with hooks. Even the upper quadrant has been entirely denuded. No parcels of gland are kept with the skin. The entire gland is fully exposed up to the pectoralis major and is ready for the resection on an open-sky basis.
  • Open-sky approach: Surgery is performed openly, thus visualization is better. Perform resection in 1 or 2 sections. One is not compelled, after an attempt to suture, to reoperate and resect glandular fragments in search of a certain form or symmetry (see images below).

    Designing the dermal inferior pedicle and its dis- Designing the dermal inferior pedicle and its dis-epidermization. A full-thickness incision is made around that pedicle and along the drawings of the modified keyhole.
    Desepidermisation of the dermal inferior pedicle i Desepidermisation of the dermal inferior pedicle is made easier by the strip shaving technique.
    This photograph shows the inferior dermal pedicle This photograph shows the inferior dermal pedicle after desepidermisation.
  • Teaching: Standardization of technique, its method, and its execution under direct vision make the procedure easy to teach to residents.

  • Execution time: Time of execution with this technique is relatively short because supplementary resection is unnecessary.

  • Realization of equal breasts: Direct visualization of the completely exposed glandular tissue makes realization of equal breasts easy because the amount of the gland that needs resection in the second breast is not based on the amount taken from the first, but, rather, by the tissue left after resection.

  • Reduction of breast width: This technique is particularly applicable to wide breasts in which the gland extends behind the midaxillary line. Undermining of pure cutaneous and subcutaneous flaps, the important resection in the external quadrant, and trimming, much more extensive than in classic techniques, allows the external wall to adhere properly on the lateral wall of the chest and allows a diminution of the implementation base of the breast (see image below).

    Lateral view after the resection. Hooks are holdin Lateral view after the resection. Hooks are holding the lateral and medial skin flaps, showing the complete exposition of the remaining gland entirely fixed on the pectoralis major from the top to the bottom of the gland.
  • Form and surface: The absence of parcels of mammary gland sequestered randomly under the skin gives a much more homogeneous texture; the patient has a breast with a more regular, natural look and pure lines. The skin acts like a rubber sack in which a gel (the mammary tissue) is placed and automatically takes the most regular and harmonious shape.

  • Realization of an immediately attractive form: The total pedicle yields, in the immediate postsurgical stage, an attractive shape because of the disposition of the central pedicle and the potential of reshaping by cutaneous flaps, which have become elastic.

  • Shortening of scar length: The classic anchor-shaped scar is avoided. Scarring can range from a periareolar incision in mild ptosis, to a vertical incision, to an inverted T with a short horizontal arm (see image below).

    The pathway taken by the intercostal nerve in the The pathway taken by the intercostal nerve in the total posterior pedicle shows its preservation in the procedure.

Follow-up

The patient is usually seen the second day after surgery. The static drain (Penrose), which drains the outer dead space secondary to the external quadrant resection, is removed, and the bandage is exchanged for the patient's bra over some sponges. Follow-up visits occur 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after surgery. The patient is seen once a year thereafter.

The deerfoot closure adapts within a month as the excess skin heals and overlapping at the flap corners disappears.

Complications

Disadvantages

First sketches can be considered difficult. This difficulty eases and eventually disappears with repetition.

General prejudice against cutaneous flaps can be considered a disadvantage. Surgeons are famously apprehensive about completely undermining real cutaneous fatty flaps as far as the aponeurosis because of the fear of skin loss in the flaps. However, this is completely unfounded. Skin has its own vascular network, and circulation does not depend on vessels coming from the gland.

Outcome and Prognosis

Twenty-five years of experience

From 1979-2005, the author performed 5000 bilateral reduction mammaplasties using the total dermoglandular pedicle technique. Patient ages ranged from 14-72 years, and the average age was 30 years. Resection ranged from 100-1600 g per breast; transposition ranged from 3-32 cm. The author experienced no nipple loss in 5000 patients (see images below).

Reconstitution begins by positioning the nipple-ar Reconstitution begins by positioning the nipple-areola complex in its new location.
Reconstitution starts with the positioning of the Reconstitution starts with the positioning of the nipple-areola complex in its new location, first with a stitch in the 12-o'clock position. The hooks maintain the extremities of the elliptical segment of the keyhole before suturing them.
The keyhole is closed around the areola while the The keyhole is closed around the areola while the surgeon's hand holds the total pedicle through the still open inferior vertical line.
Reconstitution after positioning the areola in its Reconstitution after positioning the areola in its new location and joining together the edges of the medial and lateral flaps on the vertical line.
Closure is completed in an inverted 'T' fashion. Closure is completed in an inverted 'T' fashion.
Shortening of the vertical incision when longer th Shortening of the vertical incision when longer than 6 cm.

In 2% of patients, the author encountered skin healing problems, chiefly at the junction of horizontal and vertical incisions and mainly in the first 7 years. Wounds, which resulted in a certain amount of skin loss, eventually healed spontaneously without skin grafting. In the last 18 years, this problem has diminished, as the deerfoot closing technique at the junction of these incisions was adopted (see image below).

Resection is performed in the medial and mainly in Resection is performed in the medial and mainly in the external quadrant. No resection in the lower or upper quadrants.

Curiously, a great number of these patients were surprisingly amenable to having ameliorated nipple sensation, either because of diminution of traction on the nerves or possibly because of psychological factors.

After mammaplasty, 500 patients became pregnant. All carried their pregnancy to term normally and had normal lactation. The psychological impact on these patients is estimated as positive in 99% of cases.

Breastfeeding

Using a retrospective chart review and a patient questionnaire answered by close to 580 women who underwent the Moufarrège procedure, a study by Sinno et al indicated that the operation does not negatively affect lactation and breastfeeding. The study found no statistically significant difference in the preoperative and postoperative percentages of women who could lactate (100% and 98%, respectively). There was also no statistically significant variation before and after surgery in the percentage of women who were capable of breastfeeding for 4 months (44% and 33%, respectively) or 6 months (28% and 29%, respectively).[7]

Future and Controversies

When the total posterior pedicle was presented in the early 1990s, criticisms from traditional surgeons were experienced because of their fear of losing the undermined skin. The evolution of the technique over time has proved the safety of such skin flaps divided from the gland tissue.

The inclusion of the entire remaining gland in the pedicle of the nipple-areola complex and the preservation of the intercostal innervation of the nipple make this technique superior in terms of functionality. Conservation of a whole and unique block of gland enveloped by a gland-free bag of elastic skin without any constraint due to the presence of sequestrated parcels of breast tissue under the skin allows the realization of achieving very attractive and natural-looking breasts.

A retrospective study based on a cohort of nearly 900 patients with a minimal postoperative follow up of 15 years revealed a diminution of breast cancer incidence by 52% compared with the general population.