New Research Finds That Nearly 25% Of Breast Cancer Patients Experience “Reconstructive Burnout” And Do Not Complete The Breast Reconstructive Process Following Mastectomy

“There is a subset of patients who begin the reconstructive journey but do not complete it– a term we introduce as reconstructive burnout,” explained co-authors Nicholas T. Haddock and Sumeet S. Teotia.

The study analyzed the experiences of 530 breast cancer patients between 2014 and 2017. Each patient underwent a skin-sparing mastectomy as the first effort toward breast reconstruction.

During the follow-up, though, it was found that only about 76% percent of the patients had successfully completed their breast reconstruction.

Then, the remaining women– who represented nearly 25% percent of the cases– were deemed as having “reconstructive burnout.”

The authors define this classification as “either no breast mound reconstruction or completion of the breast mound without completion of all major revisions.”

Over 80% of the patients underwent initial reconstruction utilizing tissue expanders (TEs)– which maximize the available amount of skin for breast reconstruction.

In this group, though, the total global complication rate was about 48% among women who experienced reconstructive burnout.

On the other hand, those who completed reconstruction had a complication risk of about 36%.

Approximately 65% of the patients also underwent autologous reconstruction– or reconstruction using their own tissue.

The remaining 35% opted for implant-based reconstruction.

Interestingly, though, the risk of reconstructive burnout was similar for both of these groups– with rates of 19% and 17%t, respectively.

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