Background: In the last few decades, breast reconstruction often has not been offered to the elderly population due to the reluctance of clinicians concerned about serious co-morbidities. This study aims to demonstrate that breast reconstruction is feasible and safe in the elderly cohort. Methods: Between 1999 and 2004, 63 elderly patients underwent an immediate reconstruction after breast cancer treatment at the European Institute of Oncology. A conservative treatment, combined with breast repair by plastic surgical techniques, was performed in 14 patients. In the remaining 49 patients, a modified radical mastectomy was necessary in 30 breasts, a total mastectomy in 19, a subcutaneous mastectomy in one case and a radical mastectomy in one patient. Three nipple-sparing mastectomies, along with intra-operative radiotherapy, were performed in two patients. A definitive silicone implant was used in 41 breasts and a skin expander in eight cases. A latissimus dorsi flap was performed in two patients, a pedicled transverse rectus abdominis muscle (TRAM) flap in two cases and a local advancement fasciocutaneous flap in another two patients. Results: In all patients, surgery was well tolerated despite patient age. No systemic and medically unfavourable events occurred in the immediate and late postoperative period. Infection occurred in four patients (6.34%) and partial necrosis of the mastectomy flaps in three cases (5.5% of the mastectomies). Capsular contracture grade III and IV was reported in four cases (8.89%). Total implant removal was rated 12.24%, due to infection (three prostheses), exposure (one expander) and capsular contracture grade IV (two implants). Conclusions: Implant-based technique of breast reconstruction should be made available to the elderly population.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2010|
- Breast reconstruction
ASJC Scopus subject areas