Obesity, Smoking Might Threaten Implants After Mastectomy12/06/13
FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity and smoking
increase the risk of implant failure in women who undergo breast
reconstruction soon after breast removal, according to a new
Researchers analyzed data from nearly 15,000 women, aged 40 to
60, who had immediate reconstruction after breast removal
(mastectomy). They found that the risk of implant loss was three
times higher in smokers and two to three times higher in obese
The more obese a woman, the greater her risk of early implant
failure, according to the study, which was published in the
December issue of the
Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Other factors associated with a higher risk of implant loss
included being older than 55, receiving implants in both breasts,
and undergoing both breast removal and reconstruction with implants
in a single operation.
"Less than 1 percent of all patients in our study experienced [implant failure]," study lead author Dr. John Fischer, a plastic surgery resident at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a journal news release. "But when we [organized] patients into low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups, the risk went from 0.39 percent to 1.48 percent to 3.86 percent."
"It may seem like a small difference, but the difference is clinically significant because it means that one in 25 patients in the high-risk group will lose a device within 30 days," he said.
The researchers also created a risk-scoring tool to help
surgeons counsel patients about their predicted risk for early
If a patient learns she has a high risk for complications with
breast implants, she may choose to have an autologous tissue-based
procedure, Fischer said. In autologous breast reconstruction,
surgeons create a new breast by using a woman's own tissue, which
is often taken from her abdomen.
"The expectations are better managed and overall satisfaction is likely to be higher," Fischer said.
The American Cancer Society has more about
breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
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