Risk factors for implant failure following revision surgery in breast cancer patients with a previous immediate implant-based breast reconstruction

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2020 Dec;184(3):977-984. doi: 10.1007/s10549-020-05911-z. Epub 2020 Sep 12.


Purpose: The aim of the current study was to evaluate risk factors and timing of revision surgery following immediate implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR).

Methods: This retrospective cohort included women with a previous therapeutic mastectomy and implant-based IBR who had undergone implant revision surgery between 2005 and 2015. Data were collected by medical chart review and registered in the Stockholm Breast Reconstruction Database. The primary endpoint was implant removal due to surgical complications, i.e. implant failure.

Results: The cohort consisted of 475 women with 707 revisions in 542 breasts. Overall, 33 implants were removed due to complications. The implant failure rate (4.7%) was lower without RT (2.4%) compared to RT administered after mastectomy (7.5%) and prior to IBR (6.5%) (p = 0.007). While post-mastectomy RT (OR 3.39, 95% CI 1.53-7.53), smoking (OR 3.90, 95% CI 1.76-8.65) and diabetes (OR 5.40, 95% CI 1.05-27.85) were confirmed as risk factors, time from completion of RT (> 9 months, 6-9 months, < 6 months) was not (OR 3.17, 95% CI 0.78-12.80, and OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.20-2.71). Additional risk factors were a previous axillary clearance (OR 4.91, 95% CI 2.09-11.53) and a history of a post-IBR infection (OR 15.52, 95% CI 4.15-58.01, and OR 12.93, 95% CI 3.04-55.12, for oral and intravenous antibiotics, respectively).

Conclusions: Previous axillary clearance and a history of post-IBR infection emerged as novel risk factors for implant failure after revision surgery. While known risk factors were confirmed, time elapsed from RT completion to revision surgery did not influence the outcome in this analysis.

Keywords: Implant exchange; Implant failure; Implant removal; Revision surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Implants* / adverse effects
  • Breast Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty* / adverse effects
  • Mastectomy
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors