JOURNAL ARTICLE
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A Comparative Retrospective Analysis of Complications After Oncoplastic Breast Reduction and Breast Reduction for Benign Macromastia: Are These Procedures Equally Safe?

INTRODUCTION: Oncoplastic breast reduction has been shown to be an effective approach to breast conservation surgery in women with macromastia. Clear surgical margins can be achieved while simultaneously improving symptomatic macromastia and enhancing aesthetic outcomes. Little has been written about postoperative complications after this procedure, beyond the risk of locoregional recurrence. This study aimed to compare the complication profile for oncoplastic breast reduction versus reduction for benign macromastia.

METHODS: A retrospective review of our experience with oncoplastic breast reduction was performed. This represented a consecutive series of 118 patients undergoing bilateral breast reduction during the 7-year study period from March 2005 to March 2012. There were 64 patients identified who underwent oncoplastic breast reduction. Patients were determined to be a good candidate for breast conservation therapy if it was felt that clear surgical margins could be obtained without mastectomy. Postoperative complications (within 6 weeks of surgery) were compared to a control group of 56 patients undergoing reduction for benign macromastia. The associations between complications and potential risk factors were analyzed using logistic regression.

RESULTS: Patients undergoing oncoplastic breast reduction and reduction for benign macromastia had some key differences. In general, macromastia patients were younger (mean age, 42.3 vs 57.5 years; P < 0.001) and had lower body mass index (mean, 26.1 vs 30.6 kg/m2; P < 0.001) compared to those patients having oncoplastic reduction. Within the oncoplastic reduction group, 14 (21.9%) patients had a total of 16 complications; among the benign macromastia group, 9 (16.1%) patients had a total of 10 complications (P = 0.420). On univariate analysis, oncoplastic reduction was not predictive of having a perioperative complication (odds ratio, 1.462; 95% confidence interval, 0.579-3.696; P = 0.422). Body mass index was found to be predictive of having a complication after reduction for either indication (odds ratio, 1.108; 95% confidence interval, 1.018-1.206; P = 0.017). Within the oncoplastic reduction cohort at an average follow-up of 34.6 months (range, 0.3-90.3 months), 5 (7.9%) patients developed locoregional recurrence and 2 patients developed distant metastasis.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with reduction mammoplasty for benign macromastia, a widely accepted procedure, patients undergoing oncoplastic breast reduction were equally likely to have a postoperative complication. Elevated body mass index was shown to be a statistically significant predictor of having a complication after reduction for either indication. Overall complication rates were acceptably low for both procedures.

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