Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Impact of Breast Reconstruction on Weight Change

Plast Reconstr Surg; 2017 Dec; Cho, Shammas, et al

Women who underwent autologous breast reconstruction did not gain as much weight postdiagnosis as those who did not receive reconstruction, according to a propensity-match analysis involving 160 individuals. Participants included women who underwent mastectomy at a single institution between 2008 and 2010 (n=80), and those in a matched cohort who did not receive reconstruction (n=80). Investigators looked at the impact of overall body mass index (BMI) change, as well as change >5%, 1 to 4 years post-diagnosis. Among the results:

  • Women undergoing immediate reconstruction had reduced BMI changes 1, 2, and 3 years after diagnosis, vs those who did not have reconstruction.
  • After that time, reconstruction was predictive of reduced BMI changes.
  • Higher BMI increases were seen in 1) women who were leaner at diagnosis, and 2) those who received chemotherapy.
  • Normal baseline BMI and chemotherapy predicted greater BMI increases.

The authors noted that their findings can help clinicians select weight management strategies for high-risk patients.


Cho E, Shammas R, Glener A, Greenup R, Hwang E, Hollenbeck S. The impact of autologous breast reconstruction on body mass index patterns in breast cancer patients: A propensity-matched analysis. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017;140(6):1121-1131. doi:10.1097/PRS.0000000000003841.

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