Recurrence of Breast Carcinoma Following Immediate Reconstruction: A 13-Year Review

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To evaluate the effect of immediate reconstruction on the incidence, location, detection, and treatment of recurrent breast cancer, a review of 306 patients operated on according to a standard protocol during the 10-year period 1979 through 1988 was performed. Reconstruction techniques included submuscular implants (207), tissue expanders (84), and musculocutaneous flaps (15). During a minimum follow-up period of 3 years with a mean of 6.4 years, 60 patients (19.6 percent) developed recurrent disease, at a mean interval to recurrence of 31 months. The first locations of recurrences were local (16), regional (11), and systemic (33). Recurrence rates by stage included stage I, 7 patients (5.2 percent); stage II, 45 patients (32.1 percent); and stage III, 8 patients (40 percent). It was not possible to include comparisons with internal control groups of patients in our institution who were not reconstructed or who had delayed reconstructions, thereby preventing conclusions based on such comparisons. Our recurrence data are similar to literature reports of recurrence rates in patients who were not reconstructed after mastectomy. Detection and treatment of recurrences were not inhibited by the reconstructions. When radiation therapy was used in the treatment of local recurrences, the development of symptomatic capsular contracture was recorded in 58 percent of the patients. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 93: 96, 1994.)

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