The Impact of Perioperative Hormonal Therapy for Breast Cancer on Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous Flap Abdominal Complications

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BackgroundThe pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap is a reliable reconstructive option in breast cancer patients; however, it carries known risk of donor site hernia formation. Some hormonal therapy drugs have been associated with hernia formation in animal models. Minimal data exist concerning impact of hormonal therapy for breast cancer on abdominal donor site complications after breast reconstruction.MethodsPatients who underwent TRAM flap for breast cancer or high-risk status at a single institution by the senior author from 2003 to 2015 were identified. Charts were reviewed. Patient demographics, comorbidities, treatments, and abdominal complications were recorded. Patients were divided into groups based on use of hormonal therapy as well as exposure to specific drugs. Statistical analyses were performed.ResultsA total of 358 patients were included. Overall hernia rate was 5.9%. About 231 (64.5%) patients had hormonal therapy, whereas 127 (35.5%) did not. Difference in hernia formation was not statistically significant between the hormonal therapy group (6.9%) and the no hormonal therapy group (3.9%; P = 0.359). Patients exposed to tamoxifen and those exposed to anastrozole had no significant difference in complication rates compared with the no hormonal therapy group, whereas patients exposed to letrozole had increased rate of hernia (13.5%; P = 0.037) and infection (21.6%; P = 0.013) compared with the no hormonal therapy group (3.9% and 7.1%, respectively).ConclusionsHormonal therapy is a useful adjunct for chemoprevention in breast cancer; however, use of letrozole in patients undergoing reconstruction with pedicled TRAM can lead to increase in certain complication rates.

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