INTRODUCTION: Immediate breast reconstruction with an expander/implant is a good option for women submitted to mastectomy. This study aimed to evaluate the results of immediate breast reconstruction with implants and expanders in patients who did or did not undergo postoperative radiotherapy.
METHODS: A consecutive prospective study that involved 83 women submitted to immediate breast reconstruction, was carried out by first performing breast reconstruction surgery with expanders and then with implants. The study was conducted between 2007 and 2012 and accounted for a total of 90 reconstructions. In the first surgery, an expander was placed in a submuscular bag under the pectoralis major and serratus muscles. In the second surgery, the expander was replaced by an implant. We compared the surgical outcomes of both types of surgeries (with implants and with expanders) in patients who underwent postoperative radiotherapy and those who did not.
RESULTS: After the first surgery, 33 patients (39.8%) received radiotherapy, and 13.25% experienced complications, including expander displacement (4.8%), emptying (2.4%), infection (2.4%), skin dehiscence (2.4%), and extrusion (1.2%). After the second surgery, 17.6% of the subjects experienced complications, including capsular contracture (7%), extrusion (5.3%), and infection (5.3%). With regard to the first surgery, 18.8% of the patients who underwent radiotherapy and 10.0% of those who did not, experienced complications. With regard to the second surgery, these prevalences were 46.6 % and 7.14%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Patients who received radiotherapy after breast reconstruction surgery experienced more complications.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Mammoplasty; Tissue expanders; Breast implants; Radiotherapy.