Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy with Immediate Breast Reconstruction Increases Healthcare Utilization and Cost

Judy C. Boughey, Stephanie R. Schilz, Holly K. Van Houten, Lin Zhu, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Valerie Lemaine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: The rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) in women with unilateral breast cancer continue to rise, especially in women undergoing immediate breast reconstruction (IBR). Methods: We utilized administrative claims data from a large US commercial insurance database (OptumLabs) to identify women age 18–64 years who underwent IBR between January 2004 and December 2013. We compared 2-year unadjusted utilization rates and total costs of care between unilateral mastectomy (UM) and bilateral mastectomy (BM) for implant-based and autologous reconstruction. Comparisons were tested using t-test and differences in cost were estimated using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results: Overall, 11,235 women undergoing mastectomy with IBR were identified; 7319 with implant reconstruction [1923 UM (26%) and 5396 BM (74%)] and 3916 with autologous reconstruction [1687 UM (43%) and 2229 BM (57%)]. The overall rate of office visits (2386 vs. 2391 per 100 women, p = 0.42) and hospital readmission rate (29.1 per 100 women vs. 27.4, p = 0.06) were similar between BM + IBR and UM + IBR. Women undergoing BM + IBR had a higher emergency room (ER) visit rate (34.1 per 100 women vs. 29.8, p < 0.0001). The total 2-year cost of care was higher for BM + IBR than UM + IBR for implant reconstruction ($106,711 vs. $97,218, p < 0.0001) and for autologous reconstruction ($114,725 vs. $87,874, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: BM + IBR (autologous or implant) was associated with increased ER visits and higher total cost of care over 2 years compared with UM + IBR. Patients considering CPM should be counseled on the additional risks and costs associated with BM + IBR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2957-2964
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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