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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Comparison of resource costs between implant-based and TRAM flap breast reconstruction.

Resource costs, as measured by hours of time in the operating room, days of stay in the hospital, and other costs of care, were evaluated for 240 patients who underwent mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction using either TRAM flaps or breast implants at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. To make costs comparable, only patients who completed reconstruction of the nipple were included. As expected, the initial resource costs of implant-based reconstruction were much lower than those of TRAM flap reconstruction. After correcting for patients whose reconstructions were unsuccessful and including the costs of surgery subsequent to the initial reconstruction, however, the cost advantage of implant-based reconstruction disappeared. If current trends continue, it is likely that with increased follow-up, the long-term resource costs of implant-based reconstructions will continue to increase, while those of autogenous tissue reconstructions will not. Autogenous breast reconstruction with the TRAM flap therefore appears to be more cost-effective, in terms of time as well as dollars, in the long run than reconstruction based on prosthetic implants.[1]


  1. Comparison of resource costs between implant-based and TRAM flap breast reconstruction. Kroll, S.S., Evans, G.R., Reece, G.P., Miller, M.J., Robb, G., Baldwin, B.J., Schusterman, M.A. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. (1996) [Pubmed]
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