J Wound Manag Res.  2020 Jun;16(2):80-87. 10.22467/jwmr.2020.01088.

Incidence and Reconstruction of Chronic Radiation-Induced Chest Wall Ulceration in Postoperative Breast Cancer Patients

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Pathology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 3Department of Radiation Oncology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea

Abstract

Background
Breast cancer patients who receive radiotherapy for postoperative tumor control are exposed to the possibility of adverse effects including osteoradionecrosis and ulceration. The purpose of this study is to explore reconstruction of ulcers according to their characteristics, and also to investigate the incidence of skin ulcers in patients who had undergone radiotherapy after modified radical mastectomy (MRM).
Methods
Data of patients who underwent radiation therapy after MRM from 1979 to 2003 were collected. Demographics and radiation details were analyzed along with their reconstruction outcomes and pathologic characteristics. Effects of surgical debridement and reconstruction strategies for success were also assessed.
Results
A total of 113 patients had radiotherapy after MRM in our institution, out of which nine patients (7.96%) developed ulcerations in the chest wall. Eleven patients underwent reconstructive surgery, including the nine patients who developed chest wall ulcerations and an additional two patients from other hospitals. Seven patients had thoracoepigastric flaps while three had latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flaps and one had a perforator flap. The average initial wound size was 5.77 cm2, and this average was enlarged by 23.6 times after debridement. There was no reconstructive failure in any of the patients. Fibrosis, necrosis with ulceration, and dystrophic calcification were common pathological findings. Dystrophic calcification was found in seven of 11 cases. Additionally, ossification with bone formation was noted in three of seven cases with dystrophic calcification.
Conclusion
A thorough preparation of the wound bed and reconstruction with flaps appropriate for the defect can successfully treat chronic radiation-induced ulceration.

Keyword

Radiation induced abnormality; Radiotherapy; Skin ulcer; Breast cancer
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