Skin-Sparing Mastectomy and Immediate Breast Reconstruction by Use of Implants: An Assessment of Risk Factors for Complications and Cancer Control in 120 Patients

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Abstract

Background:

Combined skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction by use of an implant is increasingly accepted as a therapy for patients with breast cancer or a hereditary risk of breast cancer. Because little and contradictory evidence regarding possible risk factors for postoperative complications is available, the authors retrospectively assessed 13 such factors. They also evaluated the oncological safety of the procedure.

Methods:

From July of 1996 through June of 2000, 174 skin-sparing mastectomies were combined with immediate breast reconstruction in 120 patients. The authors assessed the influence of five patient-related and eight breast-related characteristics on the incidence of a complicated postoperative course by univariate and multivariate analyses. Oncological safety was evaluated by observed recurrent disease and 5-year survival.

Results:

Severe complications were observed in 17 patients of the 120 patients (14 percent), or 19 of the 174 breasts (11 percent). The patient-related characteristics of age and being operated on unilaterally significantly increased the risk of complications. Resident plastic surgeons and previous breast-conserving therapy including radiotherapy significantly increased the risk of implant loss. The local relapse rate among patients operated on for cancer was 0.02. The actuarial 5-year survival rate among patients who underwent curative mastectomies was 0.96.

Conclusions:

Combined skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction by use of an implant is oncologically safe, but the risk of postoperative complications cannot be neglected. The authors’ observations may offer guidance for adapting indication and treatment strategies for patients with breast cancer or increased hereditary risk of such cancer.

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