Reoperations after Prophylactic Mastectomy with or without Implant Reconstruction

Sara M. Zion, Jeffrey M. Slezak, Thomas A. Sellers, John E. Woods, Phillip G. Arnold, Paul M. Petty, John H. Donohue, Marlene H. Frost, Daniel J. Schaid, Lynn C. Hartmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The authors characterized the unanticipated reoperations after prophylactic mastectomy, with or without implant reconstruction. METHODS. The surgical cohort was comprised of 1417 women with a family history of breast carcinoma. The women received a prophylactic mastectomy with (bilateral, n = 593; contralateral, n = 506) or without reconstruction (n = 318) at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) between 1960 and 1993. Reoperations and indications for reoperation were compiled from medical records and a patient survey. RESULTS. Three hundred eighteen women received a bilateral (n = 39) or contralateral (n = 279) prophylactic mastectomy without reconstruction. With a median follow-up of 15 years, 18 women (6%) required reoperation. Most of these reoperations occurred within the first year after prophylactic mastectomy. Five hundred ninety-three women had reconstruction with implants following bilateral propylactic mastectomy. Approximately one-half of the women (52%) required at least 1 unanticipated reoperation during a median follow-up of 14 years. Approximately 39% of all reoperations occurred within 1 year of breast reconstruction and 69% within 5 years. Implant-related issues were the most common cause for reoperation. Some women with breast carcinoma elected to receive contralateral prophylactic mastectomy with therapeutic mastectomy for the affected breast. Five hundred six women received reconstruction with implants. During a median follow-up of 8.8 years, 189 women (37%) required unanticipated reoperation. The most common indication was implant-related issues. The time course of reoperations was similar to that for women in the bilateral group. CONCLUSIONS. Surgical reoperations were fairly common among women who received prophylactic mastectomy with implant reconstruction. Most of the reoperations were implant related. Reoperations were fairly uncommon after prophylactic mastectomy without reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2152-2160
Number of pages9
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2003


  • Breast carcinoma
  • Prophylactic mastectomy
  • Reconstruction
  • Reoperations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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