Novel Approach for Risk-Reducing Mastectomy: First-Stage Implant Placement and Subsequent Second-Stage Mastectomy

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Abstract

Background:

Risk-reducing mastectomy with tissue expander and then implant-based breast reconstruction conventionally involved immediate submuscular placement of tissue expanders during mastectomy and then, after expansion, replacement of expanders for permanent implants in a second-stage operation. Use of acellular dermal matrix can achieve a single-stage operation; however, acellular dermal matrices are costly and may have potential complications. The authors aim to assess the feasibility of placement of implants as a first-stage procedure before risk-reducing mastectomy as a novel technique of reconstruction that avoids the need for serial outpatient expansion and acellular dermal matrix.

Methods:

Patients for whom risk-reducing mastectomy was planned were offered first-stage dual-plane placement of fixed volume silicone gel permanent implants by means of inframammary fold incisions. Risk-reducing mastectomy was undertaken several months later as the second operation, leaving the implants in place protected by the muscle and capsule pocket. Nipples were preserved or reconstructed according to the patient’s choice.

Results:

Eight patients with 15 operated breasts were recruited. Anatomically shaped implants were used in all patients, and complete coverage of each implant was achieved. Mean implant volume was 433 ml (range, 290 to 545 ml). There were no complications, and good aesthetic outcomes were achieved.

Conclusions:

This proof-of-principle study finds that placement of implants before risk-reducing mastectomy is a novel technique for women at high breast cancer risk that could reduce the use of tissue expanders and acellular dermal matrices and their associated problems. Two-stage risk-reducing mastectomy with first-stage implant placement and subsequent risk-reducing mastectomy leaving the implants in place is feasible, with no complications, and can produce a good cosmetic outcome.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, IV.

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