Follow-up of patients undergoing oncoplastic surgery - more palpable masses and benign biopsies

Yoav Amitai, Orit Golan, Yoav Barnea, Joseph Klausner, Tehillah S. Menes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Oncoplastic reconstruction is increasingly used in the management of women undergoing breast conserving surgery. We examined the findings on breast exam and imaging of patients who underwent breast conservation with or without oncoplastic reconstruction. OBJECTIVE:We hypothesized that patients undergoing immediate breast reconstruction would present with more palpable and imaging abnormalities compared to lumpectomy alone and undergo therefore more biopsies. METHODS: All patients undergoing breast conservation with oncoplastic reconstruction for breast cancer between 2009 and 2014 were included in the study group. The control group was created by matching 4 women that underwent lumpectomy alone during the same week to each patient in the study group. The two groups were compared regarding demographics, tumor characteristics, post-operative complaints, breast exam, imaging and biopsies done during follow-up. RESULTS: The study group included 67 women who had lumpectomy and immediate oncoplastic reconstruction and 268 women that underwent lumpectomy alone. Patients undergoing immediate oncoplastic reconstruction had more advanced disease; larger mean tumor size (3.1 cm versus 1.9 cm, P < 0:001), higher rate of involved lymph nodes (48% versus 26%; P < 0:001) and use of neoadjuvant treatment (39% versus 15%; P < 0:001). After oncoplastic reconstruction, new lumps (18% versus 5%; P = 0:004) were found more frequently, and there was a higher rate of women undergoing biopsies (31% versus 11%; P < 0:001). This finding remained significant after controlling for age, type of tumor, use of neoadjuvant treatment and volume of tissue removed. Over ninety percent of biopsies in the oncoplastic group were benign, most commonly-fat necrosis (N = 15, 60% of the biopsies). CONCLUSIONS: Immediate oncoplastic reconstruction is associated with increased palpable masses and imaging abnormalities, requiring biopsies. Patients and clinicians should be aware of the benign nature of most of these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • Lumpectomy
  • breast biopsy
  • oncoplastic reconstruction


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