Effect of hypothyroidism on short-term outcomes after autologous and implant-based breast reconstruction

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Updates in surgery




Autologous; Bleeding; Breast reconstruction; Hemorrhage; Hypothyroidism; Implant


Hypothyroidism has high prevalence in elderly women, which overlaps with the patient population who opt for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. While hypothyroidism was shown to impact outcomes in other surgeries, its effect on breast reconstruction has not been established. This study aimed to compare the short-term outcomes of patients with and without hypothyroidism who underwent autologous (ABR) and implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR), respectively. Patients having ABR or IBR were identified in the National Inpatient Sample from Q4 2015-2020. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to compare in-hospital outcomes between patients with and without hypothyroidism, adjusted for demographics, socioeconomic status, comorbidities, and hospital characteristics. There were 12,765 patients underwent ABR, where 1591 (12.46%) of them had hypothyroidism, while 17,670 patients had IBR with 1,984 (11.23%) having hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid patients had a higher risk of hemorrhage/hematoma (aOR = 1.254, 95 CI 1.079-1.457, p < 0.01) after ABR. However, there were no differences in terms of mortality and organ system complications, nor wound dehiscence, superficial/deep wound complications, seroma, flap revision, excessive scarring, venous thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism, vascular complications, infection, sepsis, transfer out, length of stay (LOS), nor hospital charge between patients with and without hypothyroidism after ABR. All postoperative outcomes were comparable between hypothyroid patients and controls after IBR. While breast reconstruction is generally safe for hypothyroid patients, preoperative screening for hypothyroidism may be beneficial for those undergoing ABR. In ABR, hypothyroidism correction and blood management may help prevent bleeding complications in hypothyroid patients. Future studies should explore the long-term prognosis of hypothyroid patients after breast reconstruction.