Background: Prosthetic breast reconstruction is generally considered contraindicated after previous breast irradiation. As a result, patients undergoing a salvage mastectomy for recurrent breast cancer or "risk-reducing" mastectomies after previous conservative surgery and radiotherapy (CS + RT) are usually offered autologous breast reconstruction. However, not all such patients are suitable candidates for a major flap reconstruction. The purpose of this study is to review our results of immediate 2-stage prosthetic breast reconstruction after CS + RT.
Methods: A retrospective review was undertaken for 671 consecutive patients with prosthetic-only breast reconstruction performed by a single surgeon over a 12.5-year period. Twenty-two patients who qualified for the criteria were audited. Outcomes examined include complications, loss of tissue expander or implant, revisional surgery, and aesthetic result.
Results: Twenty-two patients underwent 33 mastectomies and immediate 2-stage breast reconstructions after previous CS + RT (15 for recurrent cancer and seven "risk-reduction") and 11 contralateral risk-reducing mastectomies. One patient died due to extensive metastatic disease. There was no reconstruction failure. The average breast implant size was 491.7 g (range 220 -685g). Seroma was the most common complication and occurred in 3 of 22 patients (13.6%) after stage 1 and 3 of 21 patients (14.3%) after stage 2 reconstruction. The revisional surgery rate was 28.6%. Aesthetic result was rated as excellent in 9.5%, good in 76.2%, and fair in 14.3%.
Conclusions: For selected patients, immediate 2-stage prosthetic breast reconstruction can be performed successfully after a salvage mastectomy subsequent to a recurrence after CS + RT.