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Eur J Surg Oncol. 1988 Apr;14(2):127-32.

Chest wall resection in the treatment of local recurrence of breast cancer.

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Department of Surgery, The Netherlands Cancer Institute (Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis), Amsterdam.


Chest wall resection has been carried out in 30 patients with chest wall recurrences of breast cancer after previous mastectomy and irradiation. Patients were carefully selected. Twenty-eight patients were treated with curative intent, two patients underwent palliative resections for extremely painful ulcerating recurrences. The operation consists of a full thickness chest wall resection and immediate reconstruction. A variety of reconstructive techniques have been used. Based on this experience we prefer reconstruction of rigidity by means of a vicryl mesh and of soft tissue coverage by omentum transposition and split skin grafting. Using this technique post operative complications have been acceptable. Long term results have been encouraging with 50% disease free survival at 5 years. A disease free interval after mastectomy longer than 5 years correlates with a long disease free survival after chest wall resection. Chest wall resection is very effective in the palliation of pain caused by ulcerating chest wall recurrence.

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