Predictors of complications following breast reduction surgery: A National Surgical Quality Improvement Program study of 16,812 cases

Andrew M. Simpson, Daniel P. Donato, Alvin C. Kwok, Jayant P. Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Breast reduction is one of the most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Despite good outcomes and high patient satisfaction, there are little national data on the predictors that lead to complications in this patient population. We accessed a national outcomes database to examine these factors. Methods: This is a retrospective study examining the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2006 to 2015. Patients who underwent primary breast reduction were identified. Patients who underwent any cancer-related procedures were excluded. We identified patient-related and procedure-related factors for analysis. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify independent predictors of complications. Results: In total, 16,812 individual cases were identified. The overall complication rate for the cohort was 6.2%, and the major complication rate was 3.0%. Diabetes, bleeding disorder, hypertension, obesity, smoking, steroid use, and prolonged operative time were associated with increased risk of complications (p < 0.05). Concurrent body contouring was a predictor of increased major complications; however, liposuction was not. Conclusions: Common surgical risk factors are associated with complications in breast reduction surgery. Although liposuction is not an independent risk factor, concurrent body contouring is associated with increased complications. Surgeons should be aware of these associations when discussing breast reduction with patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Body contouring
  • Breast reduction
  • Complications
  • Liposuction
  • Reduction mammaplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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