: Breast conservation therapy, consisting of lumpectomy, axillary node dissection, whole-breast irradiation, and a boost to the tumor bed, is an increasingly popular option for the treatment of breast cancer. Among patients with stage I and stage II disease, breast conservation therapy yields survival rates equivalent to those for mastectomy. The cosmetic results of radiotherapy are usually good, and this approach preseryes an intact, sensate breast. Most studies on breast conservation therapy, however, have been performed in nonaugmented patients. Relatively little has been published regarding breast conservation therapy in the presence of silicone implants. Between 1981 and 1994, we treated 33 augmented patients with breast conservation therapy. Among 26 individuals for whom complete follow-up data were available, 17 (65 percent) developed significant capsular contracture on the irradiated side. Thus far 8 patients with radiation-induced contracture have undergone corrective surgery. In our experience, augmented breast cancer patients treated with breast conservation therapy have less satisfactory cosmetic results than nonaugmented women. In addition, mammographic follow-up, critical for identifying local recurrence, may be impaired by the presence of an implant and capsular contracture. On the basis of these considerations, breast conservation therapy may be less than optimal in augmented cancer patients unless explantation is performed before treatment.
(C)1996American Society of Plastic Surgeons