Get access

Age and abdominal wall strength: Assessing the aging abdominal wall after autologous breast reconstruction


  • Presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, January 15–18, 2011, Cancun, Mexico.


Autologous breast reconstruction is safe in advanced age, yet no study has examined its effects on the aging abdomen. We, therefore, studied 145 women who participated in a prospective study of abdominal strength following abdominal free flap breast reconstruction, comparing preoperative and late follow-up scores in patients ≥60 years old (11 unilateral, 13 bilateral) compared with patients <60 (58 unilateral, 63 bilateral). Simple in-office tests were utilized to test abdominal strength. No differences were noted in unilateral absolute scores at either time point, however, a decrease in upper abdominal strength was noted in the younger cohort over time (P = 0.01). Bilateral analyses revealed absolute score decreases in upper abdominal strength for both cohorts but no major differences between the two. We conclude that autologous breast reconstruction with abdominal tissue in older patients result in little to no difference in abdominal function as compared with younger patients. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Microsurgery, 2013.