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Factors predicting seroma formation after mastectomy for Chinese breast cancer patients

Author(s): Loo Wings | Chow Louis

Journal: Indian Journal of Cancer
ISSN 0019-509X

Volume: 44;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 99;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Breast cancer | mastectomy | operation | postoperative drainage | seroma

Background : Seroma formation after mastectomy typically delays recovery and adds to morbidity. Aims : This retrospective review was undertaken to identify factors which predict development of seroma after mastectomy for breast cancer patients. Setting and Design : 119 consecutive patients intended for mastectomy for the treatment of primary breast cancer were included. Factors taken into consideration were epidemiological, peri-operative in nature and those related to wound drainage output. Materials and Methods : Total mastectomy was performed and axillary sampling was taken. All patients were reviewed within two weeks after leaving hospital, unless seroma formation was detected before discharge. The diagnosis of seroma was made clinically when a collection was detected beneath the skin flaps. Statistical Analysis Used : Student′s t test was used with continuous variables and the X 2 test for categorical situations. Fisher′s exact test was applied when small numbers were encountered. A two-tailed test of P< 0.05 was considered significant. Univariate analyses were performed. Results : The incidence of seroma formation was eight per cent. Five factors were identified to be significantly related to seroma formation: i) age over 45 years; ii) hypertension; iii) total drainage output exceeding 500 ml in the first three postoperative days; iv) drainage for more than eight days. Immediate breast reconstruction prevents the formation of seroma. Conclusion : The presence of hypertension in a patient over 45 years should alert the surgeon to possible seroma formation, particularly when the post-operative drainage exceeded 500 ml in the first three days. Appropriate preventive measures should then be implemented.
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