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Sharla Gayle Patterson MD, Paige Teller MD, Radha Iyengar MD, Grant W. Carlson MD, Sheryl G. A. Gabram-Mendola MD, Albert Losken MD, Toncred Styblo MD, Mylin Torres MD, William C. Wood MD, Sebastian D. Perez MS, Marina Mosunjac MD, Monica Rizzo MD
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The locoregional recurrence (LRR) rate after mastectomy is reported to be similar with immediate reconstruction. We aimed to identify characteristics of LRR after transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) reconstruction.
We retrospectively reviewed patients undergoing immediate TRAM reconstruction for breast cancer who were diagnosed with LRR.
We identified 18 LRR (4.6 %) in 18 of 390 patients who underwent immediate TRAM reconstructions for breast cancer from 1998 to 2008. The median follow-up was 69.2 months. The mean age at time of mastectomy was 49.5 years. All LRR were detected by physical examination. The LRR occurred in the TRAM subcutaneous tissue (n = 9), five in the ipsilateral axillary lymph node and four in the supraclavicular lymph node. Of the 18 patients who developed LRR, 14 (77.7 %) presented with stage 0–1–2 and 4 (22.2 %) with stage 3 disease at the time of the original mastectomy. The average time for a LRR to present was 35.8 months after initial mastectomy and reconstruction. For patients who initially presented with stage 3 disease, the average time to LRR was shorter (22.9 months). Nine patients (50.0 %) were found to have metastatic disease at the time of the LRR, and 6 (33.3 %) died of disease.
All TRAM LRR were detected by routine physical examination by the patient or the surgeon. Our findings suggest that routine history and clinical breast examination of the breast reconstructed with a TRAM flap along with patient self-awareness are reliable in the diagnosis of LRR.
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