Local perforator flaps may be utilised to correct volume defects after breast-conserving surgery (BCS), improving the cosmetic outcome and avoiding the need for contralateral symmetrising surgery. The aims of this study were to assess longer term oncological outcomes following local perforator flap reconstruction, and to demonstrate the learning curve associated with incorporating such techniques within routine clinical practice. We report a consecutive case series of 116 local perforator flaps performed between January 2014 and May 2020.
Data collected included patient demographics, tumour characteristics, surgical procedure data, complications and follow-up outcomes. All breast cancer patients are followed with annual mammographic surveillance for a minimum of five years. Of 116 procedures, 101 were performed as immediate partial breast reconstruction and 15 as delayed reconstructive procedures for patients who had prior breast surgery. The overall complication rate was 15%; the majority were minor surgical site infections, 1.7% required haematoma evacuation. At a median follow-up of 37 months, there were no local cancer recurrences. Three patients who underwent delayed reconstruction required revision procedures, and one required a contralateral symmetrisation procedure. One patient in the immediate reconstruction group required additional lipofilling. Over time, the mean lesion size selected for immediate local flap reconstruction increased, operative times decreased and the proportion of day case procedures increased.
Our data confirm that local perforator flaps are associated with low morbidity, excellent oncological outcomes and long-term durability. The use of local flaps can increase the range of indications for BCS, reducing mastectomy rates and the associated revision and symmetrising procedures associated with them.
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