Breast Reconstruction and Radiation Therapy

Johanna H Yun, Roberto Diaz, Amber G Orman
Cancer Control: Journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center 2018, 25 (1): 1073274818795489

PURPOSE: The optimal approach to the integration of postmastectomy reconstruction and radiation therapy is not well-established. This review will summarize current literature pertaining to the most common types of reconstruction in the setting of postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT).

DATA SOURCES: Literature from PubMed was reviewed from 2000 to 2016.

STUDY SELECTION: Studies were selected with relevance to "postmastectomy breast reconstruction," "breast reconstruction," and "breast reconstructive methods and PMRT." Surgical outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness were examined.

DATA EXTRACTION: Data from publications was extracted, summarized, and converted to a table.

RESULTS OF DATA SYNTHESIS: Implant-based techniques are on the rise, in the setting of PMRT. Implant-based methods are more affordable in the short term and result in immediate breast-mound formation compared to autologous methods. When compared to implant-based reconstruction with PMRT, autologous reconstruction with PMRT results in better quality of life (QoL) and sensory recovery as well as fewer complications and failures. Among autologous flaps, deep inferior epigastric perforator flaps are considered superior to transverse rectus abdominal muscle (TRAM) pedicled flaps and may be more suitable for PMRT. Latissimus dorsi and muscle-sparing free TRAM flaps are also viable options. In delayed autologous, which may be advantageous for high-risk patients, the optimal timing to delay surgery after radiation therapy is unknown. Reconstruction with a 2-stage tissue expander-implant technique offers good to excellent cosmetic outcomes in the setting of PMRT, although there may be complications in this 2-stage process.

CONCLUSION: Surgical, cosmetic, quality of life, and life expectancy must be taken into account when selecting the way to integrate breast reconstruction and PMRT.

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