Delivery of nipple-sparing mastectomy within a single healthcare system: The impact of provider preferences

Jenna C Bekeny, Tanvee Singh, Kyle Luvisa, Peter J Wirth, Cara K Black, Salma Abdou, David H Song, Gabriel Del Corral, Shawna C Willey, Eleni Tousimis, Kenneth L Fan
Delivery of nipple-sparing mastectomy within a single healthcare system: The impact of provider preferences

Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) offers superior esthetic outcomes without sacrificing oncologic safety for select patients requiring mastectomy. While disparities in oncologic care are well established, no study to date has investigated equitable delivery of the various mastectomy types. The objective of this study is to examine multilevel factors related to the distribution of NSM.

Patients undergoing mastectomy between 2014 and 2018 across eight hospitals in a single healthcare system were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were categorized by mastectomy type-NSM or other mastectomy (OM). Patient information such as age, race, comorbidities, and median income by ZIP code was collected. Disease characteristics, such as mastectomy weight, breast cancer stage, and treatment history, were identified.

Provider and system-level variables, such as specific provider, hospital of operation, and insurance status, were determined. Bivariate analysis was used to identify variables for inclusion in a backward multivariable model. A cohort of 1202 mastectomy patients was identified, with 388 receiving NSM.

The average age was 55.8 years (NSM: 48.8, OM: 59.1, P < .001). 39.8% of white patients (n = 242) and 20.0% of African American patients (n = 88) received NSM (P < .001). Average mastectomy weight was 384.3 (SD 195.7) in the NSM group, compared to 839.4 (SD 521.1) in the OM group (P < .001). 41.4% (n = 359) of patients treated at academic centers, and 6.9% (n = 21) of patients treated at community centers received NSM (P < .001). In the multivariate model, the factor with the largest impact on NSM was specific provider.

Odds of NSM decreased by 76%-88% for certain surgeons, while odds increased by 63 times for one surgeon. This study utilizes a large multi-institutional database to highlight disparities in NSM delivery. Expectedly, younger, relatively healthy patients, with smaller breast size were more likely to undergo NSM,

in accordance with surgical guidelines. However, when all other factors were controlled, provider preferences played the most significant role in NSM delivery rates. These findings demonstrate the need for practice reexamination to ensure equitable access to NSM.

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