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Evaluation of Breast Sensibility Using Dermatomal Somatosensory Evoked Potentials

Delvecchyo, Carlos ; Caloca, Jaime ; Caloca, Jaime ; Gómez-Jauregui, Jesica

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2004, Vol.113(7), pp.1975-1983 [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    Evaluation of Breast Sensibility Using Dermatomal Somatosensory Evoked Potentials
  • Autor: Delvecchyo, Carlos ; Caloca, Jaime ; Caloca, Jaime ; Gómez-Jauregui, Jesica
  • Assuntos: Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory ; Breast -- Innervation ; Skin -- Innervation
  • É parte de: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2004, Vol.113(7), pp.1975-1983
  • Descrição: This study was undertaken to prospectively evaluate breast sensibility before and after reduction mammaplasty with a new, objective, and quantitative neurophysiologic method based on the anatomic knowledge of breast innervation and the congruent areas of dermatomal maps. An innovative application of dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials was used to study the breast regions of 42 healthy women, bilaterally. The areas stimulated in each breast were the superior quadrant, the nipple-areola complex and the medial and lateral quadrants, and the inferior quadrant; these areas correspond to T3, T4, and T5 dermatomes, respectively, following the accepted concepts of segmentary innervation of the skin. The two groups of 21 patients each were formed according to breast size: group I comprised small-breasted, unoperated controls (brassiere cup size A or B); group II comprised macromastia patients (brassiere cup size C or greater) who presented to a general plastic surgery department for breast reduction surgery. First the authors established the normal range of latency and amplitude in the dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials for the five areas stimulated in patients with small breasts and compared these parameters with those obtained from patients with macromastia. Then, after the macromastia patients underwent reduction mammaplasty using the McKissock technique, the authors compared the postoperative sensory values with their own preoperative values and with those from the small-breasted group. Using dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials, they found that small breasts were statistically more sensitive than large breasts, which concurs with studies in the literature that use other methods to evaluate breast sensibility. They also found that after breast reduction, the macromastia patients presented statistically significant improvement in breast sensibility in relation to their own preoperative latency and amplitude values, with no statistical difference in amplitude with respect to the small-breasted group; this finding suggests that after breast reduction, sensibility similar to that of the small-breasted group can be considered a possibility. Furthermore, in comparisons of each of the five areas stimulated, there was no significant difference in values within the small-breasted group or within the macromastia group before or after surgery; this supports a possible overlap between adjacent dermatomes. This innovative application of dermatomal somatosensory evoked potentials is an objective, quantitative, and noninvasive method that has allowed the authors to evaluate breast sensibility and to compare postsurgical sensory outcomes.

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