De-escalation of complexity in oncoplastic breast surgery: Case series from a specialized breast center

Breast. 2019 Aug;46:12-18. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2019.04.002. Epub 2019 Apr 9.


Introduction: Oncoplastic breast surgery has evolved the surgical treatment of breast cancer over the past two decades. This practice still lacks validation and poses several dilemmas in terms of safety, local and systemic control, timing of adjuvant treatments and cost-effectiveness. Our case series investigates the effects of a reduced surgical complexity on cosmetic results and quality of life.

Methods: We treated 76 consecutive patients affected by early stage breast cancer from January 2016 to April 2017. We employed a decision support system to assist the final shared decision making. The communication process before surgery included new specific information on recent evidence about local control of disease and outcomes after multimodality treatment. In order to estimate the oncoplastic complexity, we created a new score based on scars, bilateral procedures and type and timing of reconstructions. We compared the outcomes of this series to that of a previous one from the same institution.

Results: The medium complexity score (CS) in the current series was significantly lower compared to that of the previous series (medium CS cohort 1 = 3.1 vs medium CS cohort 2 = 1.51; p = 0.001). Complications according to Clavien-Dindo classification did not vary significantly between the two series (p = 0.7). The increased use of primary systemic treatment did not translate into a significantly lower mastectomy rate (cohort 1 = 20% vs cohort 2 = 16%; p = n.s.). There was no significant difference in breast deformities after breast conserving surgery (p = 0.2). The BCCT.Core demonstrated a 67.1% occurrence of "good" results. Quality of life in patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery measured using the Breast-Q demonstrated similar results in the pre-post-op assessment.

Conclusions: This study hypothesizes that a proper information may impact on patient's decisions and may reduce surgical complexity. This reduction likely has no effects on the main surgical outcomes estimated using standard tools. More investigations should be performed on a larger multi-institutional scale to confirm these conclusions.

Keywords: Breast surgery; Oncoplastic breast surgery; Outcomes.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Mammaplasty / psychology
  • Mammaplasty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mastectomy / methods
  • Mastectomy / psychology
  • Mastectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mastectomy, Segmental / methods
  • Mastectomy, Segmental / psychology
  • Mastectomy, Segmental / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome