Returns to the operating room after breast surgery at a tertiary care medical center

Brittany L. Murphy, Amy E. Glasgow, Elizabeth B. Habermann, Tina J. Hieken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Evaluation of returns to the operating room (RORs) may spur practice modifications to improve patient outcomes and hospital practices. We determined the frequency and indications for RORs after breast operations. Methods: We identified patients ≥18 years who underwent a breast operation at our institution 1/1/14-1/13/17 and assessed ROR within 45-days. RORs were categorized as unplanned/planned, staged/unstaged, or unrelated procedures. Univariate and multivariable analyses compared variables between patients who did and did not have an ROR. Results: 2,914 patients underwent a breast operation of whom 117 (4.0%) had 121 RORs. Planned staged procedures accounted for 48 RORs (39.7%), while unplanned complications accounted for 65 (53.7%). On multivariable analysis, ROR was more common among patients undergoing total, skin-sparing, or nipple-sparing mastectomy (versus lumpectomy) all p < 0.03, while immediate breast reconstruction did not increase RORs. Conclusions: RORs following breast operations occurred in 4% of patients, with approximately one-third for a staged oncologic procedure. Implementation of ROR documentation tools should be encouraged, as these data provide benchmarks for clinical practice improvement initiatives to improve the quality of patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-392
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Breast surgery
  • Complications
  • Quality
  • Returns to the operating room

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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