Breast reconstruction is an important option for patients who undergo mastectomy for breast cancer. Several studies have investigated outcomes for patients who undergo either immediate or delayed reconstruction versus mastectomy alone but few have evaluated the relationship of the timing of reconstruction to oncological outcome.


To determine if there is a difference in oncological outcomes for patients who undergo delayed versus immediate breast reconstruction following mastectomy for breast cancer.


Patients who underwent immediate or delayed breast reconstruction between 2005 and 2006 were identified from a database maintained prospectively at the regional plastic surgery unit. Tumour pathology details were obtained retrospectively from the electronic patient record and from local electronic laboratory systems. Details of treatment, and recurrence and mortality data were obtained by review of each patient's electronic record. In the delayed reconstruction cohort, patients who underwent reconstruction 6-60 months after initial cancer surgery were included. In the immediate reconstruction group, patients who had recurrence or died within the first 6 months after surgery were excluded. Logistic regression survival analysis was carried out for the two cohorts and compared using Chi square test.


193 patients who underwent immediate reconstruction and 116 patients who underwent delayed reconstruction were identified. Patients who had immediate reconstruction were more likely to have DCIS only, compared to those who had delayed reconstruction, but otherwise there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of pathological characteristics or type of reconstruction performed (autologous or implant-based). Of those who had delayed reconstruction, median time from initial cancer surgery to reconstructive surgery was 27 months (6-58 months). There were 49 breast cancer deaths, 13 deaths from other causes and 65 recurrences. Median follow up time from reconstruction, of those who survived, was 111 months (29-134 months). Median follow up from initial cancer surgery was 116 months (46-185 months). There was no difference in breast cancer specific survival between the two groups when measured from time of cancer surgery (delayed reconstruction HR 1.05, 95% CI 0.59-1.89, p=0.861) or from time of reconstruction (delayed reconstruction HR 1.33, 95% CI 0.75-2.40, p=0.334). There was no difference in recurrence rates between the two groups when measured from time of cancer surgery (delayed reconstruction HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.56-1.60, p=0.822) or from time of reconstruction (delayed reconstruction HR 1.23, 95% CI 0.73-2.07, p=0.433).


Our data has demonstrated no difference in cancer specific survival or recurrence rates in patients who underwent mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction compared to patients who had delayed reconstruction.

Citation Format: Morrow ES, Dolan RD, Blackhall V, Romics L. Immediate breast reconstruction versus delayed breast reconstruction: An analysis of oncological outcomes [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; 2017 Dec 5-9; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(4 Suppl):Abstract nr P4-13-09.