Background: Skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) followed by immediate reconstruction has been advocated as an effective treatment option for patients with early-stage breast carcinoma. It minimizes deformity and improves cosmesis through preservation of the natural skin envelope of the breast. The purpose of this study was to evaluate postoperative morbidity, patients' satisfaction, and oncological safety for SSM and immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) with a latissimus dorsi (LD) myocutaneous flap and/or breast prosthesis in patients with operable breast cancer.
Methods: Twenty-one consecutive patients with operable breast cancer undergoing 25 SSM and immediate reconstruction with an LD flap plus implant (n = 14) or implant alone (n = 11) were retrospectively studied (from 2001 through 2005). The median patients' age was 44 years (range, 30-68). Patient satisfaction with the outcome of surgery was assessed using a detailed questionnaire including a linear visual analogue scale ranging from 0 (not satisfied) to 10 (most satisfied). Eight of 20 (40%) patients required adjuvant chemotherapy, and only 2 patients required post-mastectomy radiation. Reconstruction of the nipple-areola complex was performed in 7 patients (33%) using the trefoil local flap technique. Contralateral procedures to achieve symmetry were performed in 6 (28%) patients (5 augmentations and 1 reduction mammoplasty).
Results: Histological analysis showed pure ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in 4 patients and invasive carcinoma (+/- DCIS) in 20 cases, of which 5 (25%) were node positive. One prophylactic mastectomy in a BRCA-2 carrier was negative for malignancy. Tumor size ranged from 5 to 90 mm. The surgical margins were clear in all cases. There was no delay in time to commencement of adjuvant therapies. After a mean follow-up period of 13.5 months (range, 5-46 months), none of the patients developed locoregional recurrence. Only 1 patient (5%) developed systemic recurrence (bony metastases). Overall survival was 100%. The incidence of flap necrosis/loss, implant loss, wound infection, or hematoma requiring surgical evacuation was 0%, 0%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. Capsule formation requiring capsulotomy was observed in 3 of 21 patients (14%). The median patient satisfaction score was 10 (range, 6-10).
Conclusion: SSM and IBR for operable breast cancer is associated with a high level of patient satisfaction and low morbidity. The procedure seems to be oncologically safe, even in patients with high-risk (T3 or node-positive) carcinoma. The latter needs to be confirmed with greater numbers of patients and longer follow-up.