Prediction of Postoperative Seroma after Latissimus Dorsi Breast Reconstruction

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Abstract

Background:

The latissimus dorsi flap has become a first-line option in reconstruction of the breast cancer patient. Donor-site seroma is a commonly described postoperative complication of the latissimus dorsi flap.

Methods:

A retrospective chart review from 1998 to 2003 of all patients undergoing latissimus dorsi breast reconstruction was performed (n = 50). Age of the patients, timing of breast reconstruction, type of nodal dissection (axillary versus sentinel versus none), and chemotherapy status of the patients were examined.

Results:

The overall incidence of seroma formation was 47 percent. Those patients who had undergone prior or concurrent nodal dissection at the time of breast reconstruction were found to have a higher incidence of seroma formation than patients who had no nodal dissection (52 percent versus 25 percent ) (p = 0.15). Age also was a risk factor for seroma formation, as 63 percent of patients older than 50 had formed seroma as compared with 39 percent of those younger than age 50 (p = 0.08).

Conclusion:

The authors conclude that advanced age and the presence of nodal disruption before or concurrent with latissimus dorsi breast reconstruction are predictors of donor-site seroma formation.

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