Article Abstract

Current perspectives on radiation therapy in autologous and prosthetic breast reconstruction

Authors: Mark W. Clemens, Steven J. Kronowitz

Abstract

Background: Postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT) has a well-established deleterious effect on both prosthetic and autologous breast reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to perform a literature review of the effects of PMRT on breast reconstruction and to determine predictive or protective factors for complications.
Methods: The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were reviewed for articles published between January 2008 and January 2015 including the keywords “breast reconstruction” and “radiation therapy” to identify manuscripts focused on the effects of radiation on both prosthetic and autologous breast reconstruction. This subgroup of articles was reviewed in detail.
Results: Three hundred and twenty articles were identified and 43 papers underwent full text review. The 16 papers provided level III evidence; 10 manuscripts provided level I or II evidence. Seventeen case series provided level IV evidence and were included because they presented novel perspectives. The majority of studies focused on the injurious effects of radiation therapy and increased complications and concomitant lower patient satisfaction.
Conclusions: Prosthetic based breast reconstruction and immediate autologous reconstruction are associated with lower patient satisfaction in the setting of radiation therapy. Autologous reconstructions can improve patient satisfaction as well as lower revision surgery and long term complications when performed in a delayed fashion after PMRT.

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