Open Access

Significance of Infections in Implant Loss After Breast Reconstruction in the Course of Breast Cancer Treatment


The aim of the study was to analyze the reasons for removing implants after breast reconstruction in the course of treatment of breast cancer. The study involved 428 patients, who underwent a total of 648 breast reconstruction procedures using artificial implants. 47 out of 648 cases (7.3%) were identified in which the implant had to be removed. Of the 47 cases, 57.4% had undergone deferred reconstruction, and 42.6% immediate reconstruction; 27.7% had undergone pre-operative chemotherapy and radiotherapy, 27.7% pre-operative chemotherapy, and 2.1% pre-operative radiotherapy; 6.4% were diabetic, 4.3% active smokers, and more than 50.0% had BMI greater than 25 kg/m2. In 83.0% of the analyzed cases, the reason for removal of the implant was infection, in 8.5% it was local recurrence of breast cancer, in 4.3% it was damage (leakage) of the implant, and in 2.1% it was post-operative pain. About 87.0% of infections appeared within one year of implantation; however, less than a half developed within 90 days of the reconstructive surgery, and up to 30 days only about 13.0% had appeared. Among the etiological agents of infections were: coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (31.3%), Staphylococcus aureus (18.7%), Enterococcus faecalis (9.4%), Enterobacter cloacae (18.8%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (12.5%), Acinetobacter lwoffii (3.1%), and other Gram-negative fermenting rods accounted for 6.2%. Infections were the most common reason for removing the implant after breast reconstruction. and occurred most often as late infections (>30 days after surgery). The time of observation for infectious complications should be at least 1 year.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology