Surgical Timing and the Menstrual Cycle Affect Wound Healing in Young Breast Reduction Patients

Mariela M. Lopez, Alexander Chase Castillo, Kyle Kaltwasser, Linda G. Phillips, Clayton L. Moliver

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Background: Young female subjects are known to have the highest baseline menstrual hormone levels of any female age group. Studies have found an association between hormone levels and wound healing. This has been researched in the orthopedic, gynecologic, and dermatologic literature, and more recently, in young patients undergoing augmentation mammaplasty. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the timing of surgery relative to the menstrual cycle plays a role in surgical complications following bilateral reduction mammaplasty. Methods: All female patients aged 25 years or younger with a documented last menstrual cycle undergoing a bilateral reduction mammaplasty from 2005 to 2013 were reviewed. Surgical timing and postoperative complications relative to the last menstrual cycle were recorded. The preovulatory phase referred to days 1 to 14 after the patient's last menstrual cycle, whereas the postovulatory phase referred to days 15 to 28. Results: Forty-nine patients met inclusion criteria. Undergoing bilateral reduction mammaplasty during the postovulatory phase was associated with development of wound dehiscence and hypertrophic scarring (p < 0.005), which were the most common postoperative complications. Surgery in the preovulatory or postovulatory phase did not affect hematoma, seroma, wound infection, or nipple-areolar complex necrosis rates (p > 0.05). Age, race/ethnicity, body mass index, large resection mass, and medical comorbidities did not affect wound dehiscence or scar hypertrophy rates (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Young patients undergoing bilateral reduction mammaplasty during the postovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle have an increased risk of wound healing issues and poor scarring. This may be attributable to hormonal fluxes occurring during this phase and the already high hormone levels in this population.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)406-410
    Number of pages5
    JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery


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