BACKGROUND: Capsular contracture (CC) is a major complication of breast surgery with smooth and textured implants. Polyurethane (PU) foam-coated breast implants were developed to decrease the incidence of CC.
OBJECTIVES: The authors determined the incidence of CC following 2-stage breast reconstruction using PU foam-covered implants, with and without radiation therapy.
METHODS: The records of 92 patients who received 115 PU implants were retrospectively reviewed. The rates of CC over time were compared for irradiated and nonirradiated groups with a Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank test. CC rates also were analyzed with respect to age.
RESULTS: The median follow-up time for patients was 103.3 months. Nine patients experienced unilateral Baker grade III or IV fibrous CC, including 6 patients from the irradiated group and 3 patients from the nonirradiated group. The overall cumulative incidence of CC at 9 years was 8.1%. In the irradiated and nonirradiated groups, the 9-year cumulative incidence was 10.7% and 5.5%, respectively. CC occurred within 3 years in the irradiated group and within 7 years in the nonirradiated group. The incidence of CC appeared to be higher among younger patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Radiation therapy increases the risk of high-grade CC with textured or smooth implants. PU implants are associated with a much lower cumulative incidence of CC following 2-stage breast reconstruction, even when radiotherapy is performed. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE 3.
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