Tissue expander complications do not preclude a second successful implant-based breast reconstruction

Louis H. Poppler, Minh Bao Mundschenk, Andrew Linkugel, Ema Zubovic, Utku C. Dolen, Terence M. Myckatyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Implant-based breast reconstruction is the most common method of breast reconstruction in the United States, but the outcomes of subsequent implant-based reconstruction after a tissue expander complication are rarely studied. The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term incidence of implant loss in patents with a previous tissue expander complication. Methods: This is a retrospective review of the long-term outcomes of all patients with tissue expander complications at a large academic medical center from 2003 to 2013. Patients with subsequent tissue expander or implant complications were compared to those with no further complications to assess risk factors for additional complications or reconstructive failure. Results: One hundred sixty-two women were included in this study. The mean follow-up period was 8.3 ± 3.1 years. Forty-eight women (30 percent) went on to undergo a second tissue expander or implant placement. They did not differ from women who went on to autologous reconstruction or no further reconstruction. Of these, 34 women (71 percent) had no further complications and 38 women (79 percent) had a successful implant-based reconstruction at final follow-up. There were no patient or surgical factors significantly associated with a second complication or implant loss. Conclusions: Following tissue expander complications, it is reasonable to offer women a second attempt at tissue expansion and implant placement. This study demonstrates that long-term success rates are high, and there are no definitive patient or surgical factors that preclude a second attempt at implantbased breast reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Tissue expander complications do not preclude a second successful implant-based breast reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this