The true effects of anemia on postoperative surgical outcomes in autologous breast reconstruction surgery are unknown. We intended to evaluate the effect of chronic anemia on surgical outcomes in autologous breast reconstruction surgeries using a large national database.
Using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database, we examined the clinical data of patients who underwent immediate or delayed autologous breast reconstruction surgery from 2012 to 2014. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to independently evaluate the effect of chronic anemia on postoperative outcomes.
Totally, 55,839 patients underwent autologous breast reconstruction surgery (immediate: 40% vs. delayed: 60%) during this period. Overall, 6.0% of patients had chronic anemia at the time of surgery. Compared with patients without chronic anemia, patients with chronic anemia had a significantly higher complication rate (19.8% vs. 9.4%) and a longer mean length of hospital stay (5.4 vs. 3.7 days). Postoperative complications were significantly higher in patients with chronic anemia compared with patients without chronic anemia except for venous thromboembolism (VTE) and fat necrosis. Multivariate regression analyses demonstrated that chronic anemia was independently associated with an increased overall complication rate (adjusted odds ratio: 2.20). Also, multivariate regression analyses showed that chronic anemia was an independent risk factor of all the evaluated postoperative complications except VTE, stroke and fat necrosis.
This study demonstrated that chronic anemia was a significant predictor factor of morbidity in autologous breast reconstruction including flap failure. Correction of anemia prior to breast reconstruction may help reduce poor surgical outcomes related to chronic anemia.