January 18, 2014

Risk of Complications with Breast Surgery Increased with Unhealthy Habits

Women choose to undergo breast reconstruction surgery for many reasons, but one common reason is breast cancer. Women with breast cancer often must have a mastectomy (removal of the breasts). Many women then choose to have breast reconstruction. These surgeries are common and have a high success rate, but a new study finds that unhealthy habits risk complications with breast reconstruction surgery.

The study, originally published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, aimed to discover which women had the highest risk of complications in the first 30 days after breast reconstructions. The participants in the study were over 14,000 women between the ages of 40 and 60 who had undergone breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. The doctors who conducted the study wanted surgeons reading their study to better identify risky patients before they undergo surgery. Complications after breast reconstructive surgery can add additional healing time, health care costs, and delay the time it takes for women’s lives to return to normal after a breast cancer diagnosis.

The study found that for women who had breast reconstruction, the most significant risk factors for unplanned implant removal were smoking and obesity. Doctors discovered that patients who smoke are three times more likely to have their implants removed than patients who do not smoke. Obese patients are two to three times more likely to have to get their implants removed than non-obese patients.

These findings are beneficial to doctors so that they can screen patients before breast reconstruction and assess possible risk factors. The doctors who conducted the study also included a risk assessment tool that physicians can implement during consultations with patients. As with many health issues, the best risk determent is prevention. Being healthy and taking good care of your body can go a long way in preventing complications with reconstructive surgery. If you or someone you know is considering breast reconstruction, the board-certified Plastic Surgeons at Columbus Aesthetic & Plastic Surgery have extensive experience and expertise developed over decades to help ensure the best possible reconstructive results. Call our office to learn more.


Category: Breast Procedures, Breast Reconstruction