Background: Pseudoptosis (bottoming out) is a well-observed phenomenon occurring after all types of breast reduction surgery. The authors' team previously reported the use of three-dimensional (3D) imaging to demonstrate that significant morphologic changes occur in the breast during the first year after short-scar medial pedicle breast reduction. This study extended this evaluation to postoperative year 3. Methods: Patients undergoing short-scar medial pedicle breast reduction had 3D photographs taken using the Canfield Vectra 3-pod system or the Konica Minolta V910 during postoperative follow-up visits at 1 month, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years. Patients were assessed for pseudoptosis and breast morphologic changes using the 3D-based measurements. Results: During the 3 year period, 10 patients completed the study. The total breast volume decreased significantly during the first postoperative year by 20.6% (P < 0.05). No change in volume occurred during postoperative years 2 and 3 (P > 0.05). Pseudoptosis was documented in the first postoperative year by a 6% migration of breast tissue from the upper pole to the lower pole of the breast (P < 0.05), without significant change noted during the next 2 postoperative years (P > 0.05). This redistribution of the breast parenchyma correlated with a decrease in breast anteroposterior projection of 10.6 mm (P < 0.05) during the same period, with an insignificant change during postoperative years 2 and 3. During the first postoperative year, 3D comparative analysis recorded a 4.4-mm difference in the 3D topography (P < 0.05) and no further changes thereafter. The angle of breast projection showed a significant decrease of 17% (P < 0.05) in the first postoperative year and no change in subsequent years. Conclusion: Three-dimensional photography is a useful tool enabling the plastic surgeon to monitor the postoperative changes in breast morphology objectively. This study provides quantifiable data demonstrating that pseudoptosis and tissue redistribution are limited to the initial postoperative year for patients undergoing short-scar medial pedicle breast reduction. The kinetic change in the breasts during postoperative years 2 and 3 appears to be minimal. Studies comparing the changes in morphology over time with different techniques of breast reduction are underway.
- Breast morphology
- Breast parenchyma
- Breast reduction surgery
- Short-scar medial pedicle breast reduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas