Background: The rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) in women with unilateral breast cancer continue to rise, especially in women undergoing immediate breast reconstruction (IBR). Methods: We utilized administrative claims data from a large US commercial insurance database (OptumLabs) to identify women age 18–64 years who underwent IBR between January 2004 and December 2013. We compared 2-year unadjusted utilization rates and total costs of care between unilateral mastectomy (UM) and bilateral mastectomy (BM) for implant-based and autologous reconstruction. Comparisons were tested using t-test and differences in cost were estimated using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results: Overall, 11,235 women undergoing mastectomy with IBR were identified; 7319 with implant reconstruction [1923 UM (26%) and 5396 BM (74%)] and 3916 with autologous reconstruction [1687 UM (43%) and 2229 BM (57%)]. The overall rate of office visits (2386 vs. 2391 per 100 women, p = 0.42) and hospital readmission rate (29.1 per 100 women vs. 27.4, p = 0.06) were similar between BM + IBR and UM + IBR. Women undergoing BM + IBR had a higher emergency room (ER) visit rate (34.1 per 100 women vs. 29.8, p < 0.0001). The total 2-year cost of care was higher for BM + IBR than UM + IBR for implant reconstruction ($106,711 vs. $97,218, p < 0.0001) and for autologous reconstruction ($114,725 vs. $87,874, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: BM + IBR (autologous or implant) was associated with increased ER visits and higher total cost of care over 2 years compared with UM + IBR. Patients considering CPM should be counseled on the additional risks and costs associated with BM + IBR.
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