Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women, and over 180,000 women will be
diagnosed with this disease in 2008. Last year, over 57,000 breast reconstructive procedures
were performed, of which prosthetic reconstruction constituted 76%. Immediate reconstruction
has been favored over delayed procedures for psychological and technical reasons. However,
immediate breast reconstruction is associated with significantly higher complication rates
(50-52%) than delayed procedures (32-36%), especially when a prosthetic technique is used.
For prosthetic reconstructions, the most significant early complications include necrosis of
the mastectomy skin flaps, infection, delayed wound healing and exposure of the implant. The
published incidence of these complications ranges between 10% and 40% and is predominantly
associated with malperfusion of mastectomy skin flaps. Thus, evaluation of skin perfusion
and elimination of poorly vascularized areas could help reduce the high rate of
complications in immediate breast reconstruction.
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