Breast reconstruction using free tissue transfer is an increasingly utilised oncoplastic procedure. The aim was to review all bilateral breast reconstructions using abdominal free flaps by a single surgeon over an 11-year period (2003-2014). A retrospective review was performed on all patients who underwent bilateral breast reconstruction using abdominal free flaps between 2003 and 2014 by the senior author (DAM). Data analysed included patient demographics, indication for reconstruction, surgical details, and complications. Fifty-five female patients (mean 48.6 years [24-71 years]) had bilateral breast reconstruction. The majority (41, 74.5%) underwent immediate reconstruction and DIEP flaps were utilised on 41 (74.5%) occasions. Major surgical complications occurred in 6 (10.9%) patients, all of which were postoperative vascular compromise of the flap. Failure to salvage the reconstruction occurred on 3 (5.5%) occasions resulting in a total flap failure rate of 2.7%. Obesity (>30 kg/m(2)) and age > 60 years were shown to have a statistically increased risk of developing postoperative complications (P < 0.05). Our experience demonstrates that abdominal free flaps for bilateral breast reconstruction fares well, with a flap failure rate of 2.7%. Increased body mass index and patient age (>60 years) were associated with higher complication rates.
- Journal article