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imageBackground: Mastectomy flap necrosis (MFN) after mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction can compromise postsurgical recovery, lead to additional surgeries, and compromise aesthetic outcome. The objective of this study was to determine if there is a difference in the rate of MFN in patients undergoing immediate alloplastic versus immediate autologous breast reconstruction. The secondary objective was to identify additional patient and surgical factors that may influence the rate of MFN.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients who underwent immediate breast reconstruction between 2003 and 2011 in the University of British Columbia Breast Program was performed. Demographic, oncologic, reconstructive, and surgical data were compiled.
Results: Approximately 404 alloplastic and 314 autologous patients were reviewed. The overall rate of MFN was 12.9%. There was a trend toward a higher MFN rate in the autologous patient group (15.2% vs 11.6%, P = 0.095). After controlling for age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, preoperative breast radiation, surgery duration, cancer side, mastectomy type, and postoperative chemotherapy, no association was found between reconstruction type and MFN. BMI greater than 30, smoking status, and preoperative radiation were independent predictors of MFN. Surgical factors including longer duration of surgery and Wise pattern mastectomy incision were also found to be associated with increased odds of MFN.
Conclusion: We found no difference in the rate of MFN when comparing immediate alloplastic and autologous reconstruction methods. A number of patient and surgical factors were found to be predictors of MFN. The results of this large, retrospective study will help surgeons to tailor their reconstruction based on a patient’s risk factors to minimize the incidence of MFN.

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