Long-term follow-up of breast development in adolescent female patients with burns of the anterior chest wall is poorly documented. Between 1971 and 1976, 28 female patients with photographic documentation of burns to the anterior chest wall involving the nipple-areolar complex were reviewed. All patients were followed at least until their early teens. The mean age at the time of thermal injury was 5.9 ± 2.5 years, with a mean follow-up time of 8.9 ± 2.6 years. Thirteen patients (46 percent) were admitted to the Shriners Burns Institute in Galveston for acute care of their burns. Fifteen patients (54 percent) were referred for long-term follow-up or specific reconstructive procedures following care of the acute burns. In spite of significant thermal injury to the anterior chest wall with involvement of the nipple-areolar complex, no patient failed to develop breasts. Twenty patients (71 percent) required releases of the anterior chest wall to assist breast development. All anterior chest wall releases were accomplished with the use of skin grafts or local skin flaps.
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