Complications due to oncological breast surgery


  • Marta Cuenca Llamosa
  • Analía Collante Vera
  • Patricia Martínez


breast cancer, frequency, post-surgical complication, seroma


Introduction: Every year in Latin America, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. As part of the treatment of this disease, surgery is one of the fundamental pillars. The surgical act is an extreme experience for the patient and the surgeon, necessary in this pathology for complete treatment and, like any medical act, it is not exempt from complications. In Paraguay there are no statistics on the prevalence of complications due to surgeries for breast cancer, so the main objective of this work is to establish said frequency in a hospital of fourth level of complexity. Materials and methods: retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study. non-probabilistic sampling of consecutive cases. The selection of study subjects was made from the population of patients who underwent surgery for breast cancer, at the Hospital de Clínicas in the period January 2018 to August 2022, and who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All the variables have been extracted from the clinical record and were documented in the data recording form. A frequency of 42% of post-surgical complications was expected using the statistical program EPIINFO 7 for a CI of 95% with a precision of 5%, the minimum size to include had to be 143 patients. Results: 203 medical records of patients diagnosed with breast cancer who underwent surgery as part of the treatment, corresponding to the period from January 2018 to August 2022, were analyzed. 201 patients met the inclusion criteria. A total of 92 patients who presented some complication related to surgery were registered, corresponding to 46% of the total number of patients in the period of time studied. Of the complications found, 40 developed seromas, representing 43% of all patients with complications; 18 patients had surgical wound infection, representing 20%. 7 patients presented dehiscence of the surgical wound, being 7.5% of the total; and 5 developed a hematoma, being 5.3%. Among other complications found, 4 patients presented lymphedema (4.3%), 4 chronic pain (4.3%), 3 extrusion of breast prosthesis (3.2%), 2 cellulitis of the affected upper limb (2.1%), 2 presented necrosis of the nipple-areola complex (2.1%), 1 suffering from skin without necrosis, 1 suffering from the nipple-areola complex without necrosis (1% both), 1 presented fistula (1%), 1 homolateral upper limb dysfunction (1%), and capsular contracture (1%). Discussion: 92 patients with a post-surgical complication after surgery for breast cancer were registered; thus represents 46% of all patients studied. This prevalence corresponds to what has been published in the literature. Regarding the complications found, the most frequent in our review was seroma, which occurred in 40% of the complications. The publications describe this as one of the complications most frequently related to breast surgery, with frequencies ranging from 18 to 86% according to various authors. Conclusion: Of 201 patients who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 92 patients who presented some complication related to surgery were registered, corresponding to 46% of the total number of patients in the period of time studied. The most frequent complication was seroma. All the findings of this study correlate with what is found in the literature.


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How to Cite

Cuenca Llamosa, M., Collante Vera, A., & Martínez, P. (2024). Complications due to oncological breast surgery. Anales of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, 57(1), 45–49. Retrieved from