Radiotherapy and Immediate Expander/Implant Breast Reconstruction: Should Reconstruction be Delayed?

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Chest wall irradiation is very common for mastectomy patients that have opted for immediate breast reconstruction. We reviewed a 6 year experience with tissue expander implant reconstruction with and without radiotherapy in 97 patients. All patients were evaluated with respect to aesthetic outcome, infection, implant exposure, capsular contracture, displacement and failure of the reconstruction; more than 50% of our irradiated patients resulted in a complication. The findings of this study demonstrate that the rate of complications and the rate of patients requiring corrective surgeries in irradiated patients is significant in early follow up.

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