The Asplund-Davies vertical scar breast reduction technique preserves the sub- areolar skin thickness in the long term: a matched comparative study with the inverted T technique.

Ardehali B, Nouraei SA, Lim A, Lysakova L, Dex E, Nduka C, Asplund O. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2007;60(12):1309-12. Epub 2007 Jul 27.


Background and aim

The inverted T technique, a popular method of breast reduction, relies on stretching the skin over glandular breast tissue to create the breast shape. The Asplund-Davies vertical scar method of breast reduction by contrast uses glanduloplasty to create the desired breast shape, achieving tension-free skin closure. Indeed the skin at the end of the vertical scar technique is wrinkled. It is known from tissue expansion literature that when skin is placed under tension the dermis becomes thinner. In this pilot cross-sectional study we compared breast skin thickness between two matched groups of patients undergoing breast reduction either with the inverted T or the vertical scar techniques, to determine whether the method of breast reduction impacts on breast skin thickness in the long term.

Materials and method

With a high frequency ultrasound machine the breast skin thickness of 24 breasts, 12 in each group, was measured by an independent consultant radiologist. Patients were matched in terms of age, time since operation, Fitzpatrick skin type, preoperative cup size and the amount of tissue resected.


The breast skin in the inverted T group was significantly thinner than the vertical scar group. The inverted T group also had thinner skin in comparison to its control point. The vertical scar group had comparable skin thickness compared to its control point (P>0.05).


This pilot study suggests that tension-free closure of skin with the vertical scar technique maintains breast skin thickness. Maintenance of breast skin thickness in this group may in turn contribute to the long term preservation of breast shape and form.