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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2011 Nov;64(11):1466-74. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2011.06.026. Epub 2011 Aug 23.

Delayed breast implant reconstruction: a 10-year prospective study.

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Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Studies of complications following reconstructive surgery with implants among women with breast cancer are needed. As the, to our knowledge, first prospective long-term study we evaluated the occurrence of complications following delayed breast reconstruction separately for one- and two-stage procedures. From the Danish Registry for Plastic Surgery of the Breast, which has prospectively registered data for women undergoing breast implantations since 1999, we identified 559 women without a history of radiation therapy undergoing 592 delayed breast reconstructions following breast cancer during the period 1999 to 2006; 239 one-stage procedures and 353 two-stage procedures. The postoperative course through November 2009 was evaluated by cumulative incidence adjusting for competing risks for the selected outcomes; hematoma, infection, seroma, implant rupture, severe capsular contracture (modified Baker III and IV), extrusion of the implant, asymmetry/displacement of the implant, any complication, and reoperation. These analyses were performed both overall and separately according to type of procedure (one- or two-stage). The overall 10-year risk estimates were 68.1% for any complication, 7.7% for severe capsular contracture, 32.3% for displacement/asymmetry of the implant and 38.6% for reoperation. When comparing one- and two-stage procedures, we observed significantly higher risk estimates for infection, seroma and extrusion of the implant following two-stage procedures, whereas the risk of reoperation was significantly higher following the one-stage procedure. For both procedures, the majority of reoperations were due to asymmetry or displacement of the implant. In conclusion, non-radiated one- and two-stage delayed breast implant reconstructions are associated with substantial risks of complications and reoperation which should be taken into consideration in the planning of breast reconstruction.

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