A decreased time between chemotherapy and surgical breast reconstruction does not predispose patients to postoperative complications, according to a recent study that evaluated how the timing of chemotherapy for breast cancer affects post-reconstruction complications and to determine whether there is an optimal time for breast reconstruction following chemotherapy. 344 breast cancer patients who underwent chemotherapy with mastectomy and autologous/prosthetic reconstruction from 2011-2014 and a control group of 127 patients without chemotherapy were included. Researchers found:
- Patients who received chemotherapy were followed for an average of 803.4 days from initial reconstruction and experienced an overall greater complication rate compared to controls (32.8% vs 24.4%).
- The chemotherapy group experienced more minor complications vs the control group (18% vs 11%); however, there were no statistically significant difference in major complication rates.
- Patients who underwent surgery sooner after chemotherapy did not experience decreased overall complication rates.
Cohen O, Lam G, Karp N, Ceradini D. Does the timing of chemotherapy affect post-mastectomy breast cancer reconstruction complications? [Published online ahead of print February 16, 2017]. Clin Breast Cancer. doi:10.1016/j.clbc.2017.02.003.