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New alternative: Immediate implants

Article-New alternative: Immediate implants

Los Angeles — A recently published study suggests that immediate breast reconstruction using implants is a new alternative for many women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer, Medical News Today reports.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, and published in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, reports on the results of immediate implant-based breast reconstruction in 35 women who received silicone-gel implants immediately after mastectomy. The women’s average age was 45 and most underwent double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction of both breasts.

The immediate implant reconstruction included “skin-sparing” mastectomy techniques. The results were assessed an average of 15 months postsurgery. Aesthetic results were rated good to excellent, with an average score of 3.19 on a rating scale of one to four.

Complication and revision rates were higher for women who had undergone radiation therapy for breast cancer, who had D-cup or larger breasts, and who had ptotic breasts. The same characteristics were also associated with lower aesthetic scores. Six of the women had some type of complication, but only one complication was serious enough to cause loss of the implant. Overall, 37 percent of the women required additional surgery for revision.

The authors concluded that immediate breast-implant placement, though not appropriate for all women, offers “very good aesthetic results” with a low complication rate. The procedure may also help lessen psychological distress associated with mastectomy while reducing the need for multiple surgical procedures and longer hospital stays.

“We believe that the possible advantages of immediate single-stage implant-based reconstruction, such as the potential to complete reconstruction with fewer operations and in less time and cost, warrant its use in the appropriately selected patient,” the authors wrote.

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