Effect of obesity on outcomes after breast reconstruction surgery, an analysis of national surgical quality improvement program

Published:October 10, 2022DOI:



      Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer and may affect the incidence, and outcomes of surgical treatment for breast cancer, including breast reconstruction.


      This study aimed to evaluate outcomes of breast reconstruction in patients with obesity.


      In a retrospective review of the NSQIP 2013-2018, adult patients who underwent breast reconstruction were included. Procedures were categorized to with or without an implant. Obesity was considered as body mass index(BMI)≥30 kg/m2. We made composite variables for 30-day any complication, wound complications, and major complications. Regression analysis was used to identify the independent effect of obesity on outcomes.


      A total of 46,042 patients were included(mean age 51.4 ± 11.1 years, 99.8% female). There were 3134(6.8%) patients with any complication, 2429(5.3%) with major, and 2772(6%) with wound complications, 2795 patients(6.1%) with unplanned re-operation, and 3 deaths. Obesity was an independent predictor of any complication, major complications, and wound complications(OR:1.83-1.87), and unplanned re-operation(OR:1.52). Wound complication was lower in the implant group(3.7% vs 10.9%) but obesity had a higher odds of wound complications in the implant group(2 vs 1.4). There was an increase in the odds of complications as BMI rises.


      Patients with a BMI>30 kg/m2 have a significantly higher risk of developing surgical complications following breast reconstruction with both implant and tissue reconstruction. Weight loss strategies should be considered in patients who need breast reconstruction surgeries and this may decrease the risk of postoperative wound complication and the need for reoperation.


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