Beyond 30 days: A risk calculator for longer term outcomes of prosthetic breast reconstruction

Jordan T. Blough, Michael M. Vu, Cecil S. Qiu, Alexei S. Mlodinow, Nima Khavanin, Neil A. Fine, John Y.S. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Despite growing use of surgical risk calculators, many are limited to 30-day outcomes due to the constraints of their underlying datasets. Because complications of breast reconstruction can occur well beyond 30 days after surgery, we endeavored to expand the Breast Reconstruction Risk Assessment (BRA) Score to prediction of 1-year complications after primary prosthetic breast reconstruction. Methods: We examined our prospective intrainstitutional database of prosthetic breast reconstructions from 2004 to 2015. Patients without 1-year follow-up were excluded. Pertinent patient variables include those enumerated in past iterations of the BRA Score. Outcomes of interest include seroma, surgical site infection (SSI), implant exposure, and explantation occurring within 1 year of tissue expander placement. Risk calculators were developed for each outcome using multivariate logistic regression models and made available online at Internal validity was assessed using C-statistic, Hosmer-Lemeshow test, and Brier score. Results: Nine-hundred three patients met inclusion criteria. Within 1-year, 3.0% of patients experienced seroma, 6.9% infection, 7.1% implant exposure, and 13.2% explantation. Thirty-day, 90-day, and 180-day windows captured 17.6%, 39.5%, and 59.7% of explantations, respectively. One-year risk calculators were developed for each complication of interest, and all demonstrated good internal validity: C-statistics for the 5 models ranged from 0.674 to 0.739, Hosmer-Lemeshow tests were uniformly nonsignificant, and Brier scores ranged from 0.027 to 0.154. Conclusions: Clinically significant complications of prosthetic breast reconstruction usually occur beyond the 30-day window following tissue expander placement. To better reflect long-term patient experiences, the BRA Score was enhanced with individualized risk models that predicted 1-year complications after prosthetic reconstruction (BRA Score XL). All models performed as well as, if not better than, the original BRA Score models and other popular risk calculators such as the CHA 2 DS 2 VASc Score. The patient-friendly BRA Score XL risk calculator is available at to facilitate operative decision-making and heighten the informed consent process for patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2065
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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