Article Abstract

Staged approach to partial breast reconstruction to avoid mastectomy in women with breast cancer

Authors: Pankaj G. Roy, Alexandra A. Tenovici


Background: The lateral chest wall perforator flaps (CWPF) offer an excellent option for partial breast reconstruction (PBR) in women undergoing breast conservation surgery (BCS) for laterally placed tumours in small to moderate non-ptotic breasts.
Methods: A total of 20 patients underwent PBR with lateral CWPF over the last 4 years, as two-stage approach. This approach was undertaken for patients with high tumour to breast ratio (>30% predicted resection) in an attempt to avoid mastectomy. The reconstruction was carried out 2–4 weeks after wide local excision in order to ensure clear margins prior to undertaking PBR.
Results: Twenty-three women were selected for attempt at BCS with 2-stage approach. Three patients had extensive disease so they were then counseled for mastectomy after the first surgery and 20 patients had successful BCS. Out of 20 patients, 13 were symptomatic and 7 were screen-detected with mean age of 49 years. The median tumour size on pre-op imaging was 43 mm (23–75 mm). A percentage of 50% women with unifocal cancers undergoing primary surgery had disease overestimated on pre-op imaging. The complication rate was low. Good to excellent aesthetic outcomes were reported in 90% cases. Patients reported high satisfaction scores.
Conclusions: We recommend considering two-stage approach in selected women with high tumourbreast ratio to ensure successful BCS prior to PBR. This approach facilitates BCS and avoids mastectomy in borderline cases, particularly lobular cancers, DCIS, bifocal cancers and post neoadjuvant chemotherapy where pre-operative disease estimation could be challenging. Our small series has shown that this approach results in safe oncological surgery with good aesthetic outcomes in the selected group of women.