Complications and Recurrence in Implant-Sparing Oncologic Breast Surgery

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Patients with a history of prior breast augmentation and newly diagnosed breast cancer represent a rapidly expanding and unique subset of patients. Prior studies have described changes in breast parenchyma and characteristic body habitus of previously augmented patients, as well as increased rates of capsular contracture associated with breast conservation therapy. In our current study, we aimed to study the risk factors contributing to morbidity and whether recurrence rates are higher in patients with prior breast augmentation undergoing lumpectomy or mastectomy for breast cancer and identify differences in complications between these 2 groups.


Retrospective analysis approved by institutional review board was performed on patients with prior breast augmentation undergoing lumpectomy (N = 52) and mastectomy (N = 64) for breast cancer.


Patients with prior breast augmentation undergoing mastectomy had a higher rate of complications compared with those undergoing lumpectomy (20.3% vs 5.9% respectively, P = 0.031), after adjusting for patient-specific factors including body mass index [odds ratio (OR), 0.242; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.063–0.922; P = 0.0376], tumor stage (OR, 0.257; 95% CI, 0.064–1.036; P = 0.0562), smoking status (OR, 0.244; 95% CI, 0.065–0.918; P = 0.0370), and chemotherapy (OR, 0.242; 95% CI, 0.064–0.914; P = 0.0364). Four patients (7.7%) developed late complications in the lumpectomy group with 2 developing capsular contractures, 1 had fat necrosis and 1 needed complex reconstruction because of flattening of the nipple-areolar complex. There was no difference in recurrence or tumor margins between lumpectomy and mastectomy groups.


Patients with prior breast augmentation undergoing mastectomy have higher complication rates compared with lumpectomy even after adjusting for tumor stage. There appears to be no increased oncologic risk associated with either procedure given our current follow-up. Understanding these operative risks may help in patients' decision-making process with regards to type of oncologic surgery.

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