Comprehensive Outcome and Cost Analysis of Free Tissue Transfer for Breast Reconstruction: An Experience with 1303 Flaps

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Free tissue transfer is standard for postoncologic reconstruction, yet it entails a lengthy operation and significant recovery. The authors present their longitudinal experience of free tissue breast reconstructions with an emphasis on predictors of major surgical and medical complications.


The authors reviewed their prospectively maintained free flap database and identified oncologic breast reconstruction patients from 2005 to 2011. Factors associated with surgical and medical complications were identified using univariate analyses and logistic regression to determine predictors of complications.


Complications included major immediate surgical complications [n = 34 (4.0 percent)], major delayed surgical complications [n = 54 (6.4 percent)], minor surgical complications [n = 404 (47.6 percent)], and medical complications [n = 50 (5.9 percent)]. Obesity (p = 0.034), smoking (p = 0.06), flap type (p = 0.005), and recipient vessels (p < 0.001) were associated with immediate complications. Similarly, delayed surgical complications were associated with obesity (p < 0.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p < 0.001), hypertension (p < 0.001), and prior radiation therapy (p = 0.06). Regression analysis demonstrated that flap choice (p = 0.024) was independently associated with major immediate complications, and patient comorbidities such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p = 0.001) and obesity (p < 0.0001) were associated with delayed complications. Patients who developed an immediate surgical complication experienced longer hospital stays (p < 0.0001), higher operating costs (p < 0.001), and greater hospital costs (p < 0.001).


Early major complications are related to flap selection, whereas late major complications are associated with patient comorbidities. Overall, major surgical and medical complications are associated with increased hospital length of stay and greater cost in autologous breast reconstruction.


Risk, III.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles

Join Ovid Insights!

Benefits of Ovid Insights Include:

  • Consolidated email digests of the latest research in your favorite topics
  • A personalized dashboard of your topics all on one page 
  • Tools to bookmark and share articles of interest
  • Ability to customize and save your own searches

Register with Ovid Insights »