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J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 1998 Dec;39(6):853-7.

Alloplastic sternal replacement in malignant sternal tumors. Case report and review of the literature.

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Clinic of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.


Although not seldom as a palliative procedure, the preferred treatment of locally recurrent breast cancer or chest wall involvement by metastases is full-thickness chest wall resection. For closure and coverage of the defect various techniques are described. Autoplastic reconstruction is indicated for smaller defects, while larger defects usually require alloplastic materials, especially in case of chest instability after resection. We report the case of a 55-year-old female who developed a locally recurrent breast cancer with infiltration of the sternum 4 years after left sided ablation. En bloc resection of the chest wall including the complete sternum was followed by replacement with a computer-aided custom made polyethylene sternal prosthesis. With this procedure we stabilized the chest wall with protection of the underlying organs, avoided prolonged postoperative ventilation and achieved a satisfying cosmetic result.

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