Breast Reduction Surgery Leads to Infection and Mastectomy

This case study examines a situation where an adult with a high BMI underwent breast reduction surgery, leading to postoperative infection and subsequent mastectomy.

ByExpert Institute


Published on February 6, 2024

Surgeons operating on patient

Case Overview

This case study delves into a situation involving an adult individual with a significantly high Body Mass Index (BMI) of 49, who underwent breast reduction surgery. The procedure was performed by a general surgeon with oncology specialization.

Allegedly, due to the patient’s elevated BMI, surgery was inappropriate and not performed. Following the operation, the patient developed an infection which necessitated a total left breast mastectomy.

This case raises critical questions about the standard of care provided. It also raises questions about whether the patient’s high BMI should have been considered a contraindication for this type of surgery.

Questions to the expert and their responses


As an expert in plastic surgery, how frequently do you perform breast reduction surgery?

In my practice as a board-certified plastic surgeon, I conduct breast reductions weekly. To provide some context, breast surgery constitutes approximately 75% of my overall plastic surgery practice.


What are the most crucial measures surgeons can implement to minimize postoperative infections after breast reduction surgery?

There are several key measures to minimize postoperative infections. These include careful patient selection, adhering to sterile and meticulous surgical techniques, and ensuring comprehensive postoperative care.


Are you familiar with Arkansas medical-legal rules?

Yes, I am well-acquainted with Arkansas medicolegal rules.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case? If yes, please elaborate.

I have indeed reviewed similar cases previously. These cases revolved around patient selection, risk mitigation strategies, and thorough evaluation of any deviation from the standard of care or potential negligence.

About the expert

This expert is a highly experienced plastic surgeon with over a decade of experience in the field. They are board-certified and have completed an esteemed fellowship in reconstructive microsurgery, contributing significantly to the field through numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and textbooks. Currently, they hold leadership positions in a medical device company and a wound care medical device company while also serving as the director of plastic surgery at a medical group. Their extensive background and active involvement in various professional organizations make them an authoritative figure in the realm of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

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