Gigantomastia

Gigantomastia (or macromastia) is a term given when there is massive breast enlargement. It is often associated with pregnancy.

Gigantomastia is a very common condition characterised by proliferation of either breast fatty tissue or glandular tissue or both, resulting in rapid increase in breast size over a rather short period of time.

It may be seen in about one of every 100,000 pregnancies.

Its exact aetiology is unknown however it is believed to be due to an abnormal response to pregnancy-related hormonal stimulation. Significant enlargement of breasts causing tissue necrosis, ulceration, infection and haemorrhage, which may be life threatening. The diagnosis is based on the clinical findings and in normal circumstances radiologic studies are required only if there is an underlying disorder.

It can occur with peri-pubertal breast hypertrophy, juvenile gigantomastia, obesity-related breast hypertrophy or as a complication to pregnancy related gland hypertrophy. Some authors believe macromastia to be associated with increased risk of malignancy.

Medical treatment is with bromocriptine administration; however surgical intervention may be required if the disorder continues to progress.  The usual surgical management involves reduction mammoplasty. The resected specimen is sent for histological evaluation to exclude malignancy.

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Article Information

rID: 25998
System: Breast
Section: Pathology
Tags: breast, stub, refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Macromastia
  • Massive breast enlargement
  • Breast hypertrophy
  • Macromastias

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