4 years ago

A 10-Year Experience with Mastectomy and Tissue Expander Placement to Facilitate Subsequent Radiation and Reconstruction

Sarah M. DeSnyder, Steven Kronowitz, Karen E. Hoffman, Wendy A. Woodward, Michael C. Stauder, Welela Tereffe, Eric A. Strom, Henry M. Kuerer, Patrick B. Garvey, George H. Perkins, Simona F. Shaitelman, Valentina Ovalle, Benjamin D. Smith, Zeina Ayoub, Carlos H. Barcenas, Mark W. Clemens



An integrated approach to skin sparing mastectomy with tissue expander placement followed by radiotherapy and delayed reconstruction was initiated in our institution in 2002. The purpose of this study was to assess the surgical outcomes of this strategy.


Between September 2002 and August 2013, a total of 384 reconstructions had a tissue expander placed at the time of mastectomy and subsequently underwent radiotherapy. Rates and causes of tissue expander explantation before, during, and after radiotherapy, as well as tumor specific outcomes and reconstruction approaches, were collected.


Median follow-up after diagnosis was 5.6 (range 1.3–13.4) years. In the study cohort, 364 patients (94.8%) had stage II–III breast cancer, and 7 patients (1.8%) had locally recurrent disease. The 5-year rates of actuarial locoregional control, disease-free survival, and overall survival were 99.2, 86.1, and 92.4%, respectively. The intended delayed-immediate reconstruction was subsequently completed in 325 of 384 mastectomies (84.6% of the study cohort). Of the remaining 59 tissue expanders, 1 was explanted before radiotherapy, 1 during radiotherapy, and 7 patients (1.8%) were lost to follow-up. Fifty patients (13.0%) required tissue expander explantation after radiation and before their planned final reconstruction, primarily due to cellulitis. Nonetheless, the cumulative rate of completed reconstructions was 89.6%. The median time from placement of the tissue expander until reconstruction was 12 (interquartile range 9–15) months.


Tissue expander placement at skin-sparing mastectomy in patients who require radiotherapy appears to be a viable strategy for combining reconstruction and radiotherapy.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1245/s10434-017-5956-6

DOI: 10.1245/s10434-017-5956-6

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