A multi-institutional perspective of complication rates for elective nonreconstructive breast surgery: an analysis of NSQIP data from 2006 to 2010

Aesthet Surg J. 2013 Mar;33(3):378-86. doi: 10.1177/1090820X13478819. Epub 2013 Feb 25.


Background: As elective nonreconstructive breast surgery increases in popularity, there is greater demand for accurate multi-institutional data on minor and major postoperative complications.

Objective: The authors utilized a multi-institutional database to compare 30-day morbidities and reoperation rates among the different types of elective nonreconstructive breast surgery.

Methods: Patients in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) participant use file who underwent elective nonreconstructive breast surgery between 2006 and 2010 were identified. Twenty defined morbidities were compared among mastopexy, reduction mammaplasty, and augmentation mammaplasty patients using analysis of variance and χ(2) tests for continuous variables and categorical variables, respectively. Logistic regression modeling was employed to identify preoperative risk factors for complications.

Results: Of the 3612 patients identified, 380 underwent mastopexy, 2507 underwent reduction mammaplasty, and 725 underwent augmentation mammaplasty. Complication rates were low in all cohorts, and patients undergoing augmentation mammaplasty had the lowest overall complication rate compared with mastopexy and reduction mammaplasty (1.24%, 2.37%, and 4.47%). Patients undergoing reduction mammaplasty had a modestly elevated incidence of overall morbidity, superficial surgical site infections, and wound disruptions (P < .05). Moreover, 30-day reoperation rates for mastopexy, reduction mammaplasty, and augmentation mammaplasty were low (1.58%, 2.07%, and 0.97%), as were the rates of life-threatening complications (0%, 0.16%, and 0%). One death was observed for all 3612 procedures (0.03%).

Conclusions: Elective breast surgery is a safe procedure with an extremely low incidence of life-threatening complications and mortality. Comprehensive data collated from the NSQIP initiative add to the literature, and the findings of this multi-institutional study may help further guide patient education and expectations on potentially deleterious outcomes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast / surgery*
  • Breast Implantation / adverse effects
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Mammaplasty / adverse effects*
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Mammaplasty / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Registries
  • Reoperation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology