Immediate Postmastectomy Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction: An Outpatient Procedure?

Alexandra M. Keane, Grace C. Keane, Gary B. Skolnick, David Chi, Trina D. Ebersole, Terence M. Myckatyn, Marissa M. Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) poses unique challenges for breast reconstruction. At the authors' institution, COVID-19 postoperative protocols mandated patients undergoing immediate prosthetic breast reconstruction transition from 23-hour postoperative observation to same-day discharge. The authors sought to compare complications and hospital costs between these groups. Methods: A retrospective study of consecutive patients who underwent immediate prosthetic breast reconstruction from March of 2019 to April of 2021 at an academic hospital was performed. Before mid-March of 2020, patients were admitted postoperatively for observation; after mid-March of 2020, patients were discharged the same day. Postoperative complications at 48 hours, 30 days, and 90 days and hospital costs were compared. Results: There were 238 patients included (119 outpatient and 119 observation). Across all time points, total complications, major complications, categorical complications (wound healing, seroma, hematoma, infection, implant exposure), and reconstructive failures were low and not statistically different between groups. There were no differences in 30-day hospital readmission/reoperation rates (7.6% outpatient versus 9.2% observation; P = 0.640). No patient or surgical factors predicted major complication or hematoma by 48 hours or infection by 90 days. At 90 days, radiation history (P = 0.002) and smoking (P < 0.001) were significant predictors of major complications. Average patient care costs outside of surgery-specific costs were significantly lower for outpatients ($1509 versus $4045; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Complications after immediate prosthetic breast reconstruction are low. Outpatient surgery is safe, harboring no increased risk of complications. Furthermore, outpatient care is more cost-effective. Therefore, surgeons should consider outpatient management of these patients to minimize COVID-19 exposure and reduce resource consumption, all while maintaining excellent surgical care. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1E-11E
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


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