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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Surgical Outcomes after Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction.

BACKGROUND: Women of color with breast cancer are less likely to undergo post-mastectomy reconstruction compared with White women, but it is unclear whether their perioperative outcomes are worse. The goal of this study was to investigate differences in preoperative comorbidities and postoperative complications by race/ethnicity among women with breast cancer undergoing postmastectomy reconstruction. STUDY DESIGN: Data were collected from the National Inpatient Sample database of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project from 2012 to 2016. Patient demographics, types of reconstruction, comorbid conditions, Charlson-Deyo Combined Comorbidity (CDCC) scores, length of stay (LOS), and perioperative complications were abstracted. Multivariate linear and logistic regression were performed to model LOS and likelihood of postoperative complications, respectively. RESULTS: Compared with White women (n = 19,730), Black women (n = 3,201) underwent autologous reconstruction more frequently (40.7% vs 28.3%), had more perioperative comorbidities (eg diabetes: 12.9% vs 5.8%), higher CDCC scores (% CDCC ≥ 4: 5.5% vs 2.7%), and longer LOS (median 3 vs 2 days, all p < 0.001). Being Black (vs White: +0.13 adjusted days, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.19) was also associated with longer LOS and an increased likelihood of surgical complications (vs White: odds ratio 1.24, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.42, both p < 0.01), but this association did not persist when outcomes were limited to microsurgical complications. CONCLUSION: Disparities in postmastectomy breast reconstruction between Black and White women extend beyond access to care and include perioperative factors and outcomes. These findings suggest an important opportunity to mitigate inequities in reconstruction through perioperative health optimization and improved access to and co-management with primary care.


Sarver, Melissa M., Jess D. Rames, Yi Ren, Rachel A. Greenup, Ronnie L. Shammas, E Shelley Hwang, Scott T. Hollenbeck, et al. “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Surgical Outcomes after Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction.” J Am Coll Surg 234, no. 5 (May 1, 2022): 760–71.

Published Date: 
Sunday, May 1, 2022
Published In: 
J Am Coll Surg