Background: Published complication rates for breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, vary between 4% and 54%. This wide range of complication rates could be attributable to the lack of a standardized classification of complications in plastic surgery. The aim of this study was to analyze our single-center complication rates after reduction mammaplasty using the Clavien-Dindo classification. Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review studying 804 patients between the ages of 18 and 81 years old who underwent breast reduction between 2005 and 2015 at our institution. Patients with a history of breast cancer, a previous breast operation, who did not undergo bilateral reduction mammaplasty, or who required systemic immunodeficiency/immunosuppressive drugs were excluded from our analysis. Complications were classified according to the Clavien-Dindo classification from Grades I to V. Results: A total of 486 patients met the inclusion criteria for the analysis. Patients had an age (mean ± standard deviation) of 39 ± 13 years and a body mass index of 26 ± 4 kg/m2. Median follow-up was 274 days (interquartile range: 90.5-378). The overall rate of complications of reduction mammaplasty was 63%, with the majority of those being Grades I (48%) and II (9%), comprising 92% of all the complications. Operative revisions were required in 6% (1% Grade IIIA and 5% Grade IIIB). There were no complications graded in categories IV and V. Conclusion: Although complications occurred in more than half of the cases, the majority did not require operative reintervention. The Clavien-Dindo classification can classify the severity of complications and serve as a benchmark to compare complication rates between different practices. We believe that grading of complications should distinguish between those that do and do not require operative reinterventions.
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