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Aesthet Surg J. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4):432-9. doi: 10.1016/j.asj.2006.06.006.

Laser-assisted breast reduction: a safe and effective alternative. A study of 367 patients.



Although several studies have been published documenting the safety of laser-assisted breast reduction, they have involved only small numbers of patients.


The authors conducted a retrospective chart review of a series of 367 consecutive patients who underwent inferior pedicle laser-assisted breast reduction surgery at a single outpatient facility from 1995 through 2004.


All patients received appropriate preoperative intravenous antibiotics and had sequential compression devices placed on their lower extremities before induction of anesthesia. Pedicle deepithelialization was performed using a carbon dioxide laser in continuous mode. Following deepithelialization, an inferior pedicle Wise-pattern breast reduction was performed in standard fashion. In approximately 20% of cases, breast reduction was combined with lipoplasty, facial aesthetic surgery, or abdominoplasty. Minor complications assessed included seroma, hematoma, infection, dog-ear, and incisional wound breakdown. Major complications were defined as >25% nipple/areola necrosis, blood transfusion, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, myocardial infarction, or death.


No major complications were noted in our series. Two patients with infections required short-term hospitalization for administration of intravenous antibiotics. A total of 47 minor complications occurred in 42 patients (11%), including 36 incisional wound breakdowns, 6 infections, 3 hematomas, 1 seroma, and 1 dog-ear revison. The incisional breakdowns included 25 minor T-zone wounds, 2 nipple-areolar complex wounds, and 9 wounds of the vertical and transverse incisions. No inclusion cysts were noted in any patients.


Complication rates for our series of patients who underwent laser-assisted breast reduction surgery were consistent with those reported for non-laser-assisted procedures. These results, combined with the benefits and efficient operating time afforded by laser deepithelialization, indicate that laser-assisted breast reduction surgery can provide an alternative to standard methods of deepithelialization for those surgeons with access to a carbon dioxide laser.


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