BACKGROUND: A number of breast reduction techniques have been developed over the years, but debate over which technique is better for patients continues to grow. The authors' goal was to survey members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to identify their preferences and practices and report their opinion regarding issues related to the various breast reduction techniques. METHODS: In the fall of 2006, a one-page anonymous survey was sent to 5112 plastic surgeons who were members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A follow-up survey was sent 2 weeks after the first mailing as a friendly reminder. The questionnaires were then collected over a 6-week period. RESULTS: Of the 5112 plastic surgeons surveyed, 2665 (52 percent) responded to the survey. The majority of the respondents (69 percent) use the inferior pedicle breast reduction technique. Ninety-two percent of the respondents use intraoperative deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis. Sixty-one percent of respondents performed over 75 percent of their cases on an outpatient basis and 97 percent of respondents use general anesthesia. Ninety-three percent of the respondents use preoperative antibiotics. Over 70 percent of the respondents do not think breast reduction should be a cosmetic procedure. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the inferior pedicle technique has traditionally been the procedure of choice and remains so today. However, there has been an increase in the use of the newer techniques. Plastic surgeons are becoming more cognizant of the risk of deep venous thrombosis among their patients. The majority of breast reductions are now performed as outpatient procedures.
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