BACKGROUND - The number of women suitable for breast conserving treatment as well as immediate reconstruction after breast cancer has been increasing, and studies of complications hereafter are needed.
MATERIAL AND METHODS - The cohort was identified in the prospective database of the Danish Registry for Plastic Surgery of the Breast during the period 1999 to 2006; 167 women with 189 immediate breast reconstructions (40 one-stage and 149 two-stage procedures) after breast cancer without a history of radiation therapy. The women were followed for complications until November 2009. Cumulative incidence risks were computed for infection, hematoma, seroma, severe capsular contracture (modified Baker III and IV), extrusion of the implant, implant rupture, asymmetry/displacement of the implant, any complication, and reoperation. In addition, we compared the postoperative course of immediate two-stage procedures with delayed two-stage procedures.
RESULTS - The overall eight-year risk estimates for the immediate procedures were 76.4% for any complication, 5.3% for severe capsular contracture, 29.5% for displacement/asymmetry of the implant and 40.6% for reoperation. Significantly higher risk for reoperation was observed after immediate one-stage than after two-stage procedures. For immediate two-stage procedures acute complications such as infection, seroma and hematoma were higher in the expansion period than after the second planned surgery. Higher risks for acute complications were observed after immediate than after delayed two-stage procedures.
CONCLUSION - Immediate breast implant reconstruction was found to have substantial risks of complications in non-radiated women, which should be considered in the guidance of breast cancer patients before choosing reconstructive procedure.