Novel single-centre experience – evaluation of outcomes post-implementation of a coordinated combined breast reconstruction service

Alexander S. Armanios, Munyaradzi G. Nyandoro, Nisha Jayachitra, Saud Hamza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Autologous breast reconstruction services are logistically complex and challenging to implement but have better outcomes than implants. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of implementing a coordinated, low-cost combined breast reconstruction service (0.8 FTE nurse liaison, 0.25 FTE plastic surgeon, two dedicated breast surgeons 0.05 FTE each and protected weekly all-day oncoplastic theatre) on unit productivity and efficiency in reducing wait times for immediate autologous breast reconstruction. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on all patients who underwent immediate autologous breast reconstruction at Fiona Stanley Hospital between two study periods, pre-intervention – February 2016 to June 2019 and post-intervention – November 2022. Data were analysed using SPSS v.27. Results: One hundred twenty-seven participants were included, with 49% (n = 62) in the post-intervention group. Most procedures performed were therapeutic (n = 108, 85%). DIEP was the most common flap (84%), and the mean BMI was 26.9 (SD ± 4.2). There was a statistically significant increase in the number of high-risk gene carriers' prophylactic cases and bilateral cases performed post-intervention (5% to 26%, P = 0.001) and (29% to 55%, P = 0.003), respectively. Time to surgery on the waitlist did not significantly change after the intervention (therapeutic group: 3.1 to 3.5 weeks, P = 0.821; prophylactic group: 55.0 to 61.1 weeks, P = 1.000). Overall, there was a marked increase in the overall productivity of the breast service unit in terms of mastectomies, total reconstructions, and autologous reconstructions performed. Conclusions: This single-centre experience showed that implementing a coordinated service significantly increased the unit's productivity. This low-cost intervention can be applied to other healthcare settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number1-2
Early online date20 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
Externally publishedYes


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