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Ann Surg. 2006 Aug;244(2):282-8.

New trends in breast cancer management: is the era of immediate breast reconstruction changing?

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  • 1Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

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  • Ann Surg. 2007 Mar;245(3):table of contents.



Review of available literature on the topic of breast reconstruction and radiation is presented. Factors influencing the decision-making process in breast reconstruction are analyzed. New trends of immediate breast reconstruction are presented.


New indications for postmastectomy radiation have caused a dramatic increase in the number of radiated patients presenting for breast reconstruction. The major studies and their impact on breast cancer management practice are analyzed. Unsatisfactory results of conventional immediate reconstruction techniques followed by radiotherapy led to a new treatment algorithm for these patients. If the need for postoperative radiation therapy is known, a delayed reconstruction should be considered. When an immediate reconstruction is still desired despite the certainty of postoperative radiotherapy, reconstructive options should be based on tissue characteristics and blood supply. Autologous tissue reconstruction options should be given a priority in an order reflecting superiority of vascularity and resistance to radiation: latissimus dorsi flap, free TRAM or pedicled TRAM without any contralateral components of tissue, pedicled TRAM/midabdominal TRAM, and perforator flap.


When the indications for postoperative radiotherapy are unknown, premastectomy sentinel node biopsy, delayed-immediate reconstruction, or delayed reconstruction is preferable.

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