Effects of Smoking & Obesity on Breast Reconstruction

Posted by administration on July 15, 2015

Women diagnosed with breast cancer may choose to undergo a mastectomy (removal of the breast). This often spurs the decision to have breast reconstruction surgery immediately after the mastectomy procedure to begin rebuilding the breast shape. The 2013 statistics are not yet available, but in 2012 there were over 91,000 breast reconstruction procedures performed in the United States by members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). This surgery can be highly effective in restoring a woman’s self-confidence after mastectomy. 

A new study* has identified two factors that may increase the chances for breast reconstruction implant loss within 30 days after immediate breast reconstruction: smoking and obesity. Smoking and obesity have been shown to negatively affect the healing process after surgery, but this study makes the risk more concrete.

  • Smoking: Early implant loss risk is 3x higher
  • Obesity: Early implant loss risk is 2x – 3x higher (the more severe the level of obesity, the higher the risk)

Other factors that may result in an early implant loss include:

  • Age: Women over age 55 may be at more risk.
  • Bilateral Surgery: Having breast reconstruction on both breasts at the same time may increase the risk.
  • Immediate Permanent Implant Placement: Breast reconstruction surgery typically requires several stages and uses a “temporary” implant that is sequentially filled and then later replaced with a permanent implant.

Dr. Serota at Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Center performs breast reconstruction surgery in Denver as well as other breast enhancement procedures. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer in Denver and are considering mastectomy, find out if you are a good candidate for Denver breast reconstruction surgery. Call 303-367-9000 or visit serotamd.com to schedule a Cosmetic Consultation in Denver.

*This study was published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.



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