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J Surg Oncol. 2008 Aug 1;98(2):94-6. doi: 10.1002/jso.21047.

Occult malignancy rate associated with thoracodorsal vessel dissection for free flap breast reconstruction.

Author information

1
Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The rate of breast reconstruction following mastectomy is increasing, and currently sits at about 15%. Free flap reconstruction techniques using the thoracodorsal vessels as recipients provide an opportunity for a "second look" at the axillary nodal basin post-mastectomy. The purpose of this study was to determine the occult malignancy rate associated with free flap breast reconstruction.

METHODS:

A retrospective chart review was performed to ascertain the occult malignancy rate of women who received a delayed free flap reconstruction at our institution between 1990 and 2001. Any additional therapy as a result of a positive result was also recorded.

RESULTS:

Free flap breast reconstructions between 1990 and 2001 totalled 322, and of those 136 reconstructions were delayed and met our inclusion criteria. An occult malignancy rate of 3.6% (five patients) was identified for these patients. Four patients received additional therapy as a result of this finding.

CONCLUSION:

This study serves to alert reconstructive surgeons to the potential for finding occult tumour during free flap breast reconstruction.

PMID:
18537148
DOI:
10.1002/jso.21047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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