Reduction mammaplasty is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed. No study has evaluated whether geriatric patients are at greater risk for developing postoperative complications relative to nongeriatric patients.
The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) database was reviewed for reduction mammaplasty procedures from 2005 to 2017. Hypothesis testing for demographics, comorbidities, and postoperative complications between geriatric and nongeriatric patients was performed. Statistically significant differences were then evaluated with multivariate logistic regression analysis.
A total of 25,909 reduction mammaplasties were collected by NSQIP from 2005 to 2017, with 1897 patients older than 64 years (8% of all cases). The average age for geriatric breast reduction patients was 69 years versus 41.5 years for nongeriatric patients. Rates of comorbidities including diabetes, smoking status, dyspnea status, and hypertension medication were statistically different between the groups. Rates of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) were significantly higher in geriatric versus nongeriatric patients, respectively (0.32 vs 0.06, P < 0.001 and 0.37 vs 0.09, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated geriatric patients had a 4.2 and 3.9 times higher risk of developing a DVT and PE than nongeriatric patients (C.I. 1.5–11.6, P = 0.006 and C.I. 1.6–9.8, P = 0.004).
This study represents the largest evaluation of geriatric reduction mammaplasties in the United States. Although rare, geriatric age confers a 4 times increased risk for developing DVT and PE relative to nongeriatric patients all while adjusting for preoperative risk factors in reduction mammaplasty. Plastic surgeons should consider counseling their geriatric patients regarding these increased risks.