Immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy

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Aims: There is a general agreement for immediate breast reconstruction in case of in situ tumors, while the reconstruction is often still delayed in cases of invasive cancers or not performed in the elderly cohort. Aim of this review is to investigate the safety of immediate postmastectomy reconstruction for invasive cancers and in the elderly population. Methods and results: We reviewed our series and the recent literature on this topic. While there is a general consensus that advanced age is not a contraindication to immediate reconstruction and breast reconstruction can be successfully performed on well-selected elderly patients, many oncologists in Europe do not prefer immediate reconstruction for invasive carcinoma, advocating the risk of delay of the medical adjuvant treatment in case of complications due to the reconstructive procedure. Our experience and a lot of studies suggest that immediate breast reconstruction is a safe and reliable treatment option in case of invasive cancers. However, if postmastectomy irradiation is necessary on the basis of the final pathological finding, this is associated with a high rate of surgical complications and implant loss among patients who underwent immediate reconstruction with prostheses. Moreover, current evidence suggests that postmastectomy radiation therapy also adversely affects autologous tissue reconstruction. Conclusions: Immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy is an integral part of the complete management of breast cancer. Determining the risk of postmastectomy irradiation prior to definitive resection and reconstructive operations may reduce complications and improve aesthetic outcomes by guiding surgical decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Elderly
  • Immediate reconstruction
  • Invasive cancer
  • Mastectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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