Optimal timing of delayed free lower abdominal flap breast reconstruction after postmastectomy radiation therapy

Donald P. Baumann, Melissa A. Crosby, Jesse C. Selber, Patrick B. Garvey, Justin M. Sacks, David M. Adelman, Mark T. Villa, Lei Feng, Geoffrey L. Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal timing of delayed abdominal free flap breast reconstruction following postmastectomy radiation therapy. The authors evaluated the association between timing of delayed abdominal free flap breast reconstruction following postmastectomy radiation therapy and postoperative complications. Methods: The authors reviewed a prospectively maintained database of delayed abdominal free flap breast reconstruction performed between July of 2005 and December of 2009. Data regarding demographics, operative variables, and clinical outcomes were collected. Patients were classified as having undergone reconstruction less than 12 months after postmastectomy radiation therapy (group I) or 12 months or more after postmastectomy radiation therapy (group II). Complications were compared between groups, including microvascular thrombosis, flap loss, reoperation, wound dehiscence, and fat necrosis. Results: One hundred eighty-nine patients were identified, 82 (43.4 percent) in group I and 107 (56.6 percent) in group II. The total flap loss rate was 2.6 percent, with all flap losses occurring in group I (p = 0.014). The reoperation rate was higher in group I (14.6 percent versus 4.7 percent; p = 0.022). In addition, group I patients trended toward a higher incidence of microvascular thrombosis, infection, and wound dehiscence. Conclusions: Patients who underwent delayed abdominal free flap breast reconstruction after 12 months from the completion of postmastectomy radiation therapy developed fewer complications, including microvascular thrombosis and total flap loss, than those who underwent delayed abdominal free flap breast reconstruction within 12 months of completing postmastectomy radiation therapy. Allowing an interval of 12 months between the completion of postmastectomy radiation therapy and delayed abdominal free flap breast reconstruction will likely minimize complications and optimize outcomes in free flap breast reconstruction in patients receiving postmastectomy radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1100-1106
Number of pages7
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Volume127
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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    Baumann, D. P., Crosby, M. A., Selber, J. C., Garvey, P. B., Sacks, J. M., Adelman, D. M., Villa, M. T., Feng, L., & Robb, G. L. (2011). Optimal timing of delayed free lower abdominal flap breast reconstruction after postmastectomy radiation therapy. Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 127(3), 1100-1106. https://doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0b013e3182043652