Preoperative breast size affects reconstruction status following mastectomy.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Much research has been devoted to why women choose not to be reconstructed following mastectomy. The effect of breast size has not been well explored. The authors aimed to assess the relationship between breast size and reconstructive choices. A single-center retrospective review of women undergoing mastectomy between 2011 and 2014 was performed. Demographics, surgical variables, and reconstruction decisions were analyzed using t tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, and chi-squared tests. Significant (P < .05) variables were included in a multivariable logistic regression model. About 610 patients were analyzed. The median mastectomy specimen weight was 572 g (62-5230 g), which did not correlate with BMI (P = .44). Women who underwent reconstruction had lighter mastectomy specimens, averaging 643 vs 848 g (P < .0001). A regression controlling for ethnicity, insurance status, number of comorbidities, age at mastectomy, cancer stage, BMI, specimen weight, and mastectomy laterality was constructed. Lower specimen weight (P = .005), lower cancer stage (P = .008), bilateral mastectomy (P = .042), and younger age at mastectomy (P < .0001) were significantly associated with reconstruction. Women with larger breasts were less likely to be reconstructed regardless of their BMI and comorbidities. Larger breasted women may be considered worse prosthetic reconstruction candidates due to increased complications and suboptimal aesthetic outcomes but may find the increased invasiveness and recovery of autologous reconstruction an unattractive alternative. Furthermore, it is possible that surgeons may be less supportive of breast reconstruction for larger breasted women if there are concerns about safety or the aesthetic quality of the result. In the future, qualitative research must be done to determine why more larger breasted women choose not to be reconstructed as well as develop better ways to increase their reconstructive options.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Weissler, EH; Lamelas, A; Massenburg, BB; Taub, PJ

Published Date

  • November 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 706 - 712

PubMed ID

  • 28833889

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4741

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1075-122X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/tbj.12888


  • eng