Protecting Your Breast Implants After Reconstruction
If you have survived breast cancer and a mastectomy, and have undergone breast reconstruction surgery, you have already been through so much! You are a warrior! So, of course, you want to do everything possible to protect your new breasts – and ensure that you do not have to undergo any further breast revision surgery.
In December, a new clinical study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reported that two huge risk factors – smoking and obesity – can dramatically increase the odds of early implant loss after breast reconstruction with implants following a mastectomy.
The study was conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.The stated goal of the study was figure out which patients are at greatest risk for complications within the first 30 days after breast reconstruction.
In order to determine which risk factors were associated with 30-day breast implant loss for any reason data from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was analyzed. The study included more than 14,500 women between the ages of 40 and 60 who had undergone immediate breast reconstruction with implants after a mastectomy.
The results of the study were starling:
Smoking was shown to increase woman’s risk of early implant loss by three times!
And obesity as shown to increase woman’s risk of early implant loss by three times! Additionally, the more severe the state of obesity, the higher the patient’s risk of losing the implant was.
Other Risk Factors for Breast Implant Loss
Other lesser factors that were associated with a greater chance of complications included age, with women over age 55 being at slightly greater risk for implant failure. Additionally, direct-to-implant reconstruction – undergoing mastectomy and implants in a single procedure – also increased the risk of implant failure within the first 30 days after breast reconstruction surgery.
Less than one percent of all patients in this study of 14,583 women (so about 14) experienced complication involving implant loss in 30 days or less. Patients in to lower risk groups only had a, failure rate of .39% . But patients in the high risk group – due to smoking or obesity – had a failure rate of 3.86%.
This is actually quite a substantial difference – because it means that one in 25 patients in the high-risk group will lose a breast implant within the first 30 days.
The takeaway from this is that while smoking and obesity have a variety of negative health consequences, their impact on breast reconstruction surgery can be dire. We understand that losing weight or quitting smoking is a difficult uphill battle. But in order to ensure that your reconstruction surgery is a success, we urge you to find the support that you need so that you can give up cigarettes or lose some of the extra weight.
Top Troy, MI Area Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
Dr. Ali is a Troy, Mi area caring and compassionate board certified plastic surgeon who has helped countless women reclaim their bodies after cancer with breast reconstruction surgery. He will offer you a consultation to answer your questions and offer you understanding advice about your breast reconstruction surgery options.
If you are battling – or have battled – breast cancer, you are not alone. We are here to help you determine what you want to do, so you can move forward with your best life.