Breast reconstruction is a viable option for older patients

Utku C. Dolen, Jody Law, Marissa M. Tenenbaum, Terence M. Myckatyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Breast cancer is diagnosed at a median age of 62 years in the USA. At the same time, mortality rates for breast cancer continue to decrease, falling by 40% from 1989 to 2016. In the coming decades, the number of elderly patients with breast cancer, potentially seeking reconstruction, is expected to increase. Methods: A retrospective chart review of 309 patients, aged 60 years or older, undergoing immediate or delayed breast reconstruction, was conducted. Patient characteristics, clinical information and major complications requiring reoperation were evaluated. Multivariate analyses identified factors contributing to complications such as BMI, comorbidities, smoking status, history of previous breast conservation therapy (BCT), total expander volume, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Results: 26.7% of patients had at least one complication requiring reoperation, and 6.9% of patients suffered reconstructive failure. Logistic regression analysis of all patients (n = 309) found a statistically significant relationship between major complication and history of ipsilateral BCT (p = 0.026) and adjuvant chemotherapy (p = 0.005). Logistic regression analysis in patients undergoing tissue expander (TE) reconstruction (n = 215) showed that major complications were related to BMI over 35 kg/m2 (p = 0.04), history of ipsilateral BCT (p = 0.048), and adjuvant chemotherapy (p = 0.033). Conclusion: Breast reconstruction in women over 60 years old was not independently associated with higher major complication rates in our series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Breast reconstruction
  • Complication
  • Elderly
  • Flap
  • Implant
  • Lumpectomy
  • Mastectomy
  • Tissue expander


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