Autologous reconstructions are associated with greater overall medium-term care costs than implant-based reconstructions in the Finnish healthcare system: A retrospective interim case-control cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies have mainly reported the short-term costs of different reconstruction techniques. Revision operations may increase costs in longer follow-up. Authors report medium-term data on different reconstruction methods. We hypothesised that the reconstruction method would affect not only the duration of reconstruction process but also total costs. Methods: The reconstruction database was reviewed from 2008 to 2019. Women with autologous (deep inferior epigastric perforator, transverse musculocutaneous gracilis and latissimus dorsi [LD] without implant) and implant-based (implant and LD with implant) reconstructions were included. Variables evaluated included age, body mass index, smoking, comorbidities, radiotherapy, complications and readmissions. Risk factors for multiple revision surgeries were analysed. Time to definitive reconstruction and related costs were also calculated. Results: In total, 591 patients with autologous reconstructions and 202 with implant-based reconstructions were included. The median follow-up time was 73 months. Definitive reconstruction was obtained in 443 days in implant-based reconstructions and in 403 days in autologous reconstructions (P = 0.050). Independent risk factors for multiple surgeries were younger age (P < 0.001) and comorbidity (P = 0.008). No statistically significant difference was observed in the rate of overall surgical procedures (P = 0.098), but implant-based reconstructions were more commonly associated with two or more planned operations (P = 0.008). Autologous reconstructions were associated with greater total cost ($22 052 vs. $18 329, P < 0.001). Conclusions: This review of reconstructions over a 12-year study period revealed that autologous reconstructions are associated with greater overall costs, but there is no statistically significant difference in reconstruction time or rate of surgical procedures. However, a full cost assessment between reconstructive techniques requires a much longer follow-up period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-93
JournalJournal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Volume75
Issue number1
Early online date17 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • Breast reconstruction
  • DIEP
  • implant
  • LD
  • Readmission rate

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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