Outcomes of immediate tissue expander breast reconstruction followed by reconstruction of choice in the setting of postmastectomy radiation therapy

Ann Plast Surg. 2014 Mar;72(3):274-8. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318268a7ea.


A common sequence for performing staged tissue expander breast reconstruction is to immediately insert a tissue expander, complete expansion before radiotherapy, and then perform the definitive reconstruction after radiotherapy is complete. This study evaluates the outcomes of this treatment regimen in 237 patients over a 10-year period at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Overall, 62% of the patients successfully completed tissue expander/implant reconstruction, 22.3% experienced major complications leading to explantations or conversions to flap, and 13.5% completed tissue expander/elective autologous reconstruction. Of the patients who underwent second-stage tissue expander to implant exchange, 87.5% successfully completed reconstruction without experiencing complications leading to explantation or conversion to autologous reconstruction. Thus, this study indicates that immediate tissue expander followed by reconstruction of choice breast reconstruction in the setting of postmastectomy radiation therapy can be successfully performed in most of the patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Implants*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods*
  • Mastectomy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps / surgery
  • Tissue Expansion Devices*
  • Young Adult