The Effect of Oncoplastic Reduction on The Incidence of Post-Operative Lymphedema in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Lumpectomy

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics


Purpose/Objective(s): In patients with macromastia, breast conservation surgery (BCS) followed by radiation therapy (RT) may be associated with increased radiation exposure and a different complication profile than those without macromastia. The oncoplastic reduction mammoplasty (ORM) procedure includes breast reduction at the time of BCS. The purpose of this study is to determine if women with macromastia who undergo ORM have a different complication profile compared to those who undergo BCS followed by RT.

Materials/Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review on patients who underwent lumpectomy with RT from 2014 to 2017. Chronic breast lymphedema (CBL) was defined as swelling that persisted >1-year post-RT. Breast volumes (BV) were determined by contoured breast volumes or, if unavailable, estimated by the 95% isodose volumes from the RT treatment planning system. Univariate analysis was used to evaluate various patient factors and treatment outcomes in women with BV ≥1300 cc compared to <1300 cc. These same factors were compared in women who underwent ORM vs. BCS. Multivariate regression analysis was used to evaluate factors associated with ≥1 complication. Logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with the development of CBL.

Results: The total population included 785 patients, of which 28 (3.6%) underwent ORM and 757 (96.4%) underwent BCS. The total population was stratified into two groups, in which 289 (36.8%) patients had BV ≥1300 cc and 496 (63.2%) patients had a BV <1300 cc. Compared to patients with BV<1300 cc, those with BV ≥1300 cc had a higher percentage of African Americans (52.6% vs. 41.5%, P = 0.002), higher median BMI (34.96 vs. 27.87, P<0.001), higher incidence of diabetes (39.8% vs. 27.2%, P<0.001), higher incidence of hypertension (75.4% vs. 63.1%, P<0.001), and higher incidence of CBL (12.5% vs. 4.2%, P<0.001). Compared to BCS patients, ORM patients with BV ≥1300 cc had increased incidence of CBL (36.4% vs. 11.5%, P = 0.035). Logistic regression showed that the incidence of ≥1 complication was associated with BMI, presence of SLNB, and the number of lymph nodes removed in either SLNB or ALND. However, factors such as ORM and BV were not associated with an increased risk of ≥1 complication. Logistic regression demonstrated that having a BV ≥1300 cc was associated with 2.5 times increased odds of CBL compared to those with BV <1300 cc. Even though those who underwent ORM did not change the risk for CBL for the entire cohort, ORM patients with BV ≥1300 had a higher risk of CBL. Ultimately, logistic regression demonstrates that ORM does not increase the risk of CBL when adjusting for BV.

Conclusion: In conclusion, axillary surgery contributed most significantly to the incidence of having ≥1 complication. However, BV was associated with an increased risk of CBL, regardless of the presence of ORM. Therefore, women with BV ≥1300 cc should be offered ORM at the time of lumpectomy in order to reduce their future risk of CBL.





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