Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Sears ED, Lu YT, Chung TT, Momoh AO, Chung KC. Pathology Evaluation of Reduction Mammaplasty Specimens and Subsequent Diagnosis of Malignant Breast Disease: A Claims-Based Analysis. World Journal of Surgery. 2019 Jun 1; 43(6):1546-1553.
PubMed logo Search for Abstract from PubMed
(This link leaves the website of VA HSR&D.)


Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study aimed to measure the use of pathology evaluation of breast specimens among patients undergoing reduction mammaplasty and assess rates of new diagnoses of breast disease and associated cost. METHODS: We analyzed the Truven MarketScan Databases from 2009 to 2015 to identify adult female patients undergoing reduction mammaplasty for macromastia. We recorded patient age, rates of obtaining pathology evaluation, new diagnoses of benign or malignant breast disease after pathology evaluation, and total cost for the surgery encounter. RESULTS: Among 17,738 macromastia patients undergoing reduction mammaplasty, 91.3% (n? = 16,193) received pathology evaluation. Pathology evaluation rates were clinically similar across age groups < 70 years (90.8-92.1%) and slightly lower for patients = 70 (85.0%). Among 6987 patients less than 40 years who received pathology evaluation, 0.06% (n? = 4) were subsequently diagnosed with malignant breast disease within 3 months, compared to 0.23% in the entire cohort (n? = 37/16,193). Pathology claims resulted in an added $307 (SD 251) on average for the breast reduction surgery encounters. CONCLUSIONS: Breast tissue after reduction mammaplasty is routinely submitted for pathology evaluation, without consideration of age-based risk for breast cancer. Routine pathology evaluation of breast tissue in patients in lower risk age groups (less than 40 years) required an additional $536,000 on average to detect a single occult breast cancer compared to an added $85,600 to detect a new malignancy in patients 40 years and older. Clinicians and policy makers should consider whether routine pathology evaluation of breast tissue should be individualized based on risk factors for breast cancer.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.