American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Age has little influence on breast reconstruction outcomes

OCTOBER 26, 2017
Clinical Congress Daily Highlights, Thursday Edition

A number of studies in recent years have shown that older women are more likely to decline breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Among the reasons often cited are concerns that their age makes such surgery risky or that it may compromise their quality of life.

Two studies presented this week examine these concerns about breast reconstruction and conclude that they are largely unfounded. In one, researchers led by Halley Vora, MD, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, found that older age does not significantly increase 30-day postoperative morbidity and mortality after breast reconstruction. The study concluded that despite more comorbidities in older patients, mortality and complication rates are low in older patients following breast reconstruction.

Another study led by Mohamad E. Sebai, MBBS, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, compared satisfaction among 63 women 65 or older and 285 women under 65. Researchers found that older women reported slightly lower overall satisfaction with their outcome compared to younger women. However, the study found no differences in five other quality-of-life ratings: satisfaction with breasts, psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, chest physical well-being, and abdomen physical well-being.

Additional Information:

The Scientific Forums presentations, Comparison of Surgical Outcomes After Breast Reconstruction in Patients Younger and Older than Age 65: A NSQIP Analysis; and A Cross-Sectional Comparison of Quality of Life Outcomes in 348 Older and Younger Adults Following Breast Reconstruction, were presented October 25 at the 2017 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in San Diego, CA. Program, webcast and audio information is available online at

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