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Skin-Sparing Mastectomy, Implants Have Low Relapse Rate

Other severe complications occur in 11 percent of cases, however

FRIDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The contemporary approach for treating breast cancer, which includes skin-sparing mastectomy and use of implants, appears oncologically safe, according to a report published in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. However, the authors warn that there is a risk of postoperative complications.

Leonie A.E. Woerdeman, M.D., from the Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital in Amsterdam, and colleagues assessed the influence of five patient-related and eight breast-related characteristics on the outcome of 174 skin-sparing mastectomies combined with immediate breast reconstruction in 120 patients.

Severe complications including infection, seroma and hematoma occurred in 17 of the 120 patients (14 percent) and 19 of the 174 breasts (11 percent). Those patients who were older and those who had unilateral surgery were more likely to have complications. In addition, resident plastic surgeons and previous breast-conserving therapy including radiotherapy increased the risk for implant loss.

The authors found a local relapse rate of 0.02 for those being treated for cancer and conclude, "From an oncological point of view, the combined approach is as safe as conventional ablative surgery without immediate reconstruction."

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