Breast cancer is the most common cancer occurring in women. The patients who are suffering from breast cancer go through chemotherapies, breast irradiation and surgical removal of breasts, which is also called as mastectomy, as well as breast conserving therapies and breast reconstruction surgeries.
After removal of a single breast or both breasts, the women prefer to go for breast implantation for cosmetic reasons. But, there was a concern regarding breast implantation surgery, which was mentioned in the archives of surgery regarding breast implantation. It was mentioned that statistics collected regarding breast implantation were that 31% of the women who had undergone reconstructive breast implantation after mastectomy were the ones who suffered at least one short-term complication in the chest or breast area, whereas there were about 21% of the women who required additional surgery.
The most common complications occurring from breast implantation are skin perforation; blood clotting, infection and seroma. The data also suggested that about 49% of the complications happened within three months of surgery and about 67% occurred within six months.
We will discuss very briefly as to what constitutes a reconstructive surgery is done, reconstructive surgery utilizes a breast implant or a method where a new breast is formed from the skin and other tissues from the woman’s body who is going under the reconstructive surgery and that tissue is known as autologous tissue, because it has the least chance of rejection from the body. There are times when other techniques are used.
Women mostly choose breast implantation because this procedure requires less surgery and is less complicated to perform. The benefits that the implants have is that it preserves the skin, as well as some sensitivity.
The researchers inspected the data from 574 women who had post-mastectomy breast reconstruction between June 1, 1999, and July 24, 2003.
The surgeons provided the information as to when the operation was performed and also provided the details of the operations and answered questionnaires when the women came in for follow-up visits.
The researchers then came up with the statistics that there were about 31% of the women who had at least one complication and about 16% had two complications and 8% were the ones who had three or more complications following their first implantation.
There were about 21% of the women who required additional surgery, while there were about 3% who underwent additional non-surgical treatment. The reason for which they had to undergo the additional surgery was displacement of an implant, correction of asymmetry of the breasts or capsular contracture where the capsule-like scar tissue was formed around the implant, which was hardened and tightened.
There were about 302 women who had re-implantations in order to exchange or replace the existing implants, about 36% developed at least one complication and 21% had to have additional surgery.
The researchers pointed out that when the risks and benefits are being evaluated for breast reconstruction, the surgeons and patients must acknowledge the fact that the women going through reconstructive breast surgeries might be needing other operations as well because of the complications resulting from the reconstructive surgeries and that this must be an essential part of the informed consent that the patient’s must sign before undergoing the surgeries for implantation.