Effects of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy on Autologous and Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Literature.

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Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is a standard modality of treatment for breast cancer. The exposure of patients to drugs that effect the cells and processes involved in healing prior to reconstructive surgical procedures is a source of concern for reconstructive surgeons. The reported effects of NAC on autologous and tissue expander to implant-based breast reconstruction vary from study to study and have not been comprehensively reviewed on a large scale. There is also significant variation from study to study regarding which outcomes are evaluated. The primary aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the effect of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) on common and significant outcomes including total complication, reconstruction loss, and SSI (Surgical Site Infection) rates in breast reconstruction. The second aim of this study is to evaluate whether NAC has differing effects on implant-based reconstruction compared with autologous flap reconstruction. A systematic review of the literature published from 1991 to 2019 in the PubMed and Scopus library database was performed to identify studies reporting outcomes of breast reconstruction in patients receiving NAC. A meta-analysis was then performed. Primary outcomes reviewed included overall complication rates, SSI rates, and total loss of reconstruction (flap necrosis or premature tissue expander or implant removal). Outcomes were analyzed using a random effects model and chi-square statistical test. Our literature search yielded 22 manuscripts with a total of 3680 patients that fit our inclusion criteria, of which 12 reported on reconstruction loss, 14 reported on SSI rates, and 10 reported on overall complication rates. There was no significant difference in overall breast reconstruction loss rate (OR 1.30, P = .35), complication rate (OR 1.21, P = .06), and rate of SSI (OR 1.28, P = .85) between NAC vs. non-NAC groups. In patients undergoing autologous flap reconstruction there were no significant differences in complication (23.4% vs. 17.7%, P = 0.076), loss of reconstruction (3.1% vs. 4.4%, P = .393), or SSI (5.3% vs. 3.4%, P = .108) rates in patients who were treated with NAC compared to those who were not. Likewise, in patients undergoing TE/implant-based reconstruction there were no significant differences in complication (19.6 vs. 24.2 P = .069), loss of reconstruction (17.4% vs. 13.3%, P = .072), or SSI (7.9% vs. 5.1%, P = .073) rates in patients who were treated with NAC compared to those who were not. NAC was not associated with any significant differences in overall complication, reconstruction loss, or SSI rates in patients receiving implant-based or autologous flap breast reconstruction. Additionally, the lack of effect of NAC on overall complication, reconstruction loss or SSI rates did not differ with or depend on the type of reconstruction.




Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Residents, Fellows and Residents

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