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The American Society of Breast Surgeons.
Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Implementation of a Post-mastectomy Home Recovery Program in a Large, Integrated Health Care Delivery System

Brooke Vuong MD, MHA, Amanda N. Graff-Baker MD, Mio Yanagisawa MD, Sharon B. Chang MD, Margaret Mentakis MD, Veronica Shim MD, Michele Knox MD, Lucinda Romero MD, Gillian Kuehner MD
Breast Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 10 / October , 2019



The number of outpatient mastectomies, with and without reconstruction, has increased nationwide. In well-selected patient populations, same-day surgery for mastectomy is a safe option. A pilot project was initiated within the Kaiser Permanente Northern California healthcare system to facilitate surgical home recovery (SHR) for mastectomy patients, including patients undergoing implant-based reconstruction and bilateral mastectomies.


Surgical home recovery for mastectomy patients was implemented in October 2017. Specific measures in this initiative included management of patient expectations at initial consultation, education about postoperative home care, multimodality pain management, and timely post-discharge follow-up. All patients undergoing mastectomy were included, except those undergoing autologous tissue reconstructions. After a 6-month implementation period, rate of same day discharge over 6 months was compared before and after the SHR initiative. We also compared emergency department (ED) visits, reoperations, and readmissions within 7 days.


Twenty-one medical centers participated in this initiative. Before implementing SHR, 164 of the 717 (23%) mastectomies were outpatient procedures, compared with 403 of the 663 (61%) after the implementation period. Although the rate of outpatient mastectomy increased significantly, there were no statistically significant differences in ED visits (5.2% vs. 5.1%, p = 0.98), reoperation (3.5% vs. 3.5%, p = 0.99), or readmission rates (1.4% vs. 2.7%, p = 0.08).


By implementing standard expectations and sharing best practices, there was a significant increase in the rate of home recovery for mastectomy without compromising quality of patient care. The success of this pilot program supports SHR for mastectomy.

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