Oncologic Resection and Reconstruction of the Chest Wall: A 19-Year Experience in a Single Center

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The aim of this study was to analyze chest wall reconstruction following oncologic resection performed by a single surgeon over a 19-year period.


A retrospective review was performed for 135 patients who underwent oncologic chest wall resection from 1997 to 2015.


Average patient age was 57.8 years. Indications for resection were advanced breast cancer (n = 44), soft-tissue sarcoma (n = 38), bone sarcoma or chondrosarcoma (n = 28), desmoid tumor (n = 11), metastasis from other cancers (n = 7), and other primary tumors (n = 7). There were 72 full-thickness and 63 partial-thickness resections (34 soft-tissue resections only and 29 skeletal bone resections only). Resection margins were wide (n = 29), marginal (n = 82), and intralesional (n = 24). Reconstruction was warranted in 118 cases: chest wall stabilization and flap coverage in 57, chest wall stabilization only in 36, and soft-tissue flap coverage only in 25 cases. In total, 82 flaps were performed (17 free flaps and 65 pedicled/local flaps). There were no perioperative mortalities or flap losses. Complications occurred in 29 operations (Clavien-Dindo classifications grade II, n = 12; grade IIIa, n = 4; grade IIIb, n = 10; and grade IVa, n = 3) and 19 reoperations were necessary. Median follow-up was 49 months. Survival was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. One-, 2-, and 5-year survival rates were 84, 82, and 70 percent, respectively.


With careful patient selection, appropriate perioperative and postoperative care, and accurate surgical technique, even extensive chest wall resections and reconstructions are safe.


Therapeutic, IV.

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