Breast reconstruction in women under 30: A 10-year experience

Warren A. Ellsworth, IV, Barbara L. Bass, Roman J. Skoracki, Lior Heller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age (≤30 years) continues to rise. As young women present for breast cancer management with greater frequency, an accurate characterization of the differences in cancer treatments and reconstruction techniques is imperative to optimize care. Here, we sought to identify the reconstruction trends in this population of women a;circ30 years at time of breast cancer diagnosis. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of women aged ≤30 years who underwent breast reconstruction at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. We extracted data on the patients' diagnosis, adjuvant therapy, reconstructive choice, reason for reconstructive choice, and decision for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM). Over a 10-year period, 54 patients aged ≤30 years underwent 77 breast reconstructions, including 30 microsurgical autologous tissue reconstructions and 34 tissue expander-based reconstructions. Donor site limitations, including insufficient abdominal tissue, restricted the number of patients eligible for abdominal based reconstruction despite the patients' interest in the latter. The rate of CPM was 43%, which was significantly higher than the national average of 8%, further complicating the possibility of total autologous reconstruction. Because of the high rate of bilateral mastectomy and innate donor tissue limitations, young, healthy women who are otherwise ideal candidates for free tissue transfer using the abdominal donor site undergo significantly more tissue expander reconstructions than expected. Implant-based reconstruction or donor sites other than the abdomen must be considered in this unique population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • breast cancer
  • breast reconstruction
  • breast reconstruction in young women
  • young women with breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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