Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 384–388 | Cite as

Tumescent Technique Does Not Increase the Risk of Complication Following Mastectomy with Immediate Reconstruction

  • Nima Khavanin
  • Neil A. Fine
  • Kevin P. Bethke
  • Alexei S. Mlodinow
  • Seema A. Khan
  • Jacqueline S. Jeruss
  • Nora M. Hansen
  • John Y. S. Kim
Breast Oncology



Despite the growing interest in the advantages of tumescent mastectomy technique, there remain concerns that tumescent solution may increase postoperative complication rates. This study evaluates patient outcomes following tumescent mastectomy in the setting of immediate prosthetic reconstruction.


Retrospective review of 1,491 breasts (1,030 patients) treated by 4 oncologic and 2 reconstructive surgeons between 2004 and 2012 at a single institution. The primary outcomes of interest included seroma, hematoma, infection, and mastectomy flap necrosis, as well as conversion to autologous reconstruction. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the adjusted influence of tumescence on outcomes.


The tumescent cohort (n = 890 breasts) was younger and experienced lower rates of preoperative radiation than the nontumescent cohort (n = 601 breasts). Mean follow-up was 21.2 months. While tumescent procedures were on average 20 min faster, postoperative complication rates did not significantly differ between cohorts. Regression analysis controlling for potential confounders, including differences in surgeon technique, failed to identify tumescent mastectomy as an independent risk factor for complication [odds ratio (OR) = 1.2, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.8–1.8, p = 0.385]. Individually, neither seroma, hematoma, infection, nor flap necrosis was affected significantly by the use of tumescence (OR = 1.66, 95 % CI = 0.73–3.78, p = 0.229; OR = 1.11, 95 % CI = 0.42–2.95, p = 0.837; OR = 0.84, 95 % CI = 0.4–1.75, p = 0.689; OR = 1.19, 95 % CI = 0.7–2.03, p = 0.67, respectively).


This longitudinal study is well equipped to assess the influence of tumescent mastectomy technique in the hands of experienced and high-volume oncologic surgeons on postoperative outcomes. Our analysis suggests that in the setting of an immediate prosthetic reconstruction, tumescent mastectomy does not independently affect postoperative complication rates.


Postoperative Complication Rate Acellular Dermal Matrix Flap Necrosis Postmastectomy Radiation Prosthetic Reconstruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



John Y. S. Kim receives research funding from Mentor and the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nima Khavanin
    • 1
  • Neil A. Fine
    • 1
  • Kevin P. Bethke
    • 2
  • Alexei S. Mlodinow
    • 1
  • Seema A. Khan
    • 2
  • Jacqueline S. Jeruss
    • 2
  • Nora M. Hansen
    • 2
  • John Y. S. Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Lynn Sage Breast Center, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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