Elective Revisions after Breast Reconstruction
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BACKGROUND: Rates of breast reconstruction following mastectomy continue to increase. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of elective revision surgery and the number of procedures required to achieve a stable breast reconstruction 2 years after mastectomy. METHODS: Women undergoing first-time breast reconstruction after mastectomy were enrolled and followed for 2 years, with completion of reconstruction occurring in 1996. Patients were classified based on the absence or presence of complications. Comparisons within cohorts were performed to determine factors associated with revisions and total procedures. Mixed-effects regression modeling identified factors associated with elective revisions and total operations. RESULTS: Overall, 1534 patients (76.9 percent) had no complications, among whom 40.2 percent underwent elective revisions. The average number of elective revisions differed by modality (p < 0.001), with abdominally based free autologous reconstruction patients undergoing the greatest number of elective revisions (mean, 0.7). The mean total number of procedures also differed (p < 0.001), with tissue expander/implant reconstruction patients undergoing the greatest total number of procedures (mean, 2.4). Complications occurred in 462 patients (23.1 percent), with 67.1 percent of these patients undergoing elective revisions, which was significantly higher than among patients without complications (p < 0.001). The mean number of procedures again differed by modality (p < 0.001) and followed similar trends, but with an increased mean number of revisions and procedures overall. Mixed-effects regression modeling demonstrated that patients experiencing complications had increased odds of undergoing elective revision procedures (OR, 3.2; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Breast reconstruction patients without complications undergo over two procedures on average to achieve satisfactory reconstruction, with 40 percent electing revisions. If a complication occurs, the number of procedures increases. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Risk, II.
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