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BACKGROUND: The major focus of research when addressing nipple reconstruction has been on developing new techniques to provide for long-lasting nipple projection. Rarely, has the outcome of nipple reconstruction as it relates to postoperative morbidity, particularly after implant-based breast reconstruction, been analyzed. METHODS: A "matched-pair" study was designed to specifically answer the question whether a history of radiotherapy predisposes to a higher complication rate after nipple reconstruction in patients after implant-based breast reconstruction. Only patients with a history of unilateral radiotherapy who underwent bilateral mastectomy and implant-based breast reconstruction followed by bilateral nipple reconstruction were included in the study. RESULTS: A total of 17 patients (i.e. 34 nipple reconstructions) were identified who met inclusion criteria. The mean age of the study population was 43.5 years (range, 23-69). Complications were seen after a total of 8 nipple reconstructions (23.5 percent). Of these, 7 complications were seen on the irradiated side (41.2 percent) (p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: While nipple reconstruction is a safe procedure after implant-based breast reconstruction in patients without a history of radiotherapy the presence of an irradiated field converts it to a procedure with a significant increase in postoperative complication rate.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bjps.2013.04.052
View details for PubMedID 23664573