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

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Background:The aim of this study was to analyze chest wall reconstruction following oncologic resection performed by a single surgeon over a 19-year period.Methods:A retrospective review was performed for 135 patients who underwent oncologic chest wall resection from 1997 to 2015.Results: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.Conclusion:With careful patient selection, appropriate perioperative and postoperative care, and accurate surgical technique, even extensive chest wall resections and reconstructions are safe.CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Therapeutic, IV.

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