Predictors of readmission after breast reconstruction: A multi-institutional analysis of 5012 patients

Alexei S. Mlodinow, Jon P. Ver Halen, Seokchum Lim, Khang T. Nguyen, Jessica A. Gaido, John Y.S. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Recent health care legislation institutes penalties for surgical readmissions secondary to complications. There is a paucity of evidence describing risk factors for readmission after breast reconstruction procedures. METHODS: Patients undergoing breast reconstruction in 2011 were identified in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Patients were grouped as purely immediate implant/tissue-expander reconstructions or purely autologous reconstruction for analysis. Reconstructions involving multiple types of procedures were excluded due to difficulty with classification. Perioperative variables were analyzed using χ and Student t test as appropriate. Multivariate regression modeling was used to identify risk factors for readmission. RESULTS: Of 5012 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 3960 and 1052 underwent implant/expander and autologous reconstructions, respectively. Implant/expander and autologous cohorts experienced similar readmission rates (4.34% vs 5.32%, respectively; P = 0.18). However, autologous reconstructions experienced a higher rate of overall complications than implant/expander reconstructions (19.96% vs 5.86%, respectively; P < 0.05), as well as higher rates of reoperation (9.7% vs 6.5%, respectively; P < 0.05). Common predictors of readmission for implant/expander and autologous cohorts included operative time, American Society of Anesthesiologist class 3 and 4, and superficial surgical site infection. Smoking, sepsis, deep wound infection, organ space infection, and wound disruption were predictive of readmission for implant/expander reconstruction only, whereas hypertension was predictive of readmission after autologous reconstruction only. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study of readmission rates after breast reconstruction. Knowledge of specific risk factors for readmission may improve patient outcomes, steer strategies for optimizing reconstructive outcomes, and minimize readmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-341
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • 30-day
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Outcomes
  • Readmissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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