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Intrathoracic Migration of a Breast Implant After Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Songcharoen, Somjade Jay MD*; McClure, Michael MD*; Aru, Roberto G. BS*; Songcharoen, Somprasong MD*†

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000408
Circumspectus Medicinae: Texts and Contexts

The aging population, in combination with the popularity of breast augmentation with implants, presents surgeons with a growing number of cases involving women undergoing minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) who have breast implants. We present an unusual complication involving the delayed migration of a subpectoral implant into the chest cavity through an iatrogenic defect after a minimally invasive mitral valve repair. This chest wall defect was ultimately repaired with a latissimus dorsi flap. Although MICS has been described in women with breast implants, the documented experience remains limited. Most authors classically recommend explantation of the prosthesis to provide access to the chest wall; however, some have later suggested preserving the implant capsule in situ while performing the cardiac procedure with gentle retraction. From our literature review and experience, we recommend that the posterior capsule should remain intact. If this is not possible, then the chest wall closure should be reinforced with either mesh, soft tissue, or both. Soft tissue options include the conversion from a subpectoral to a subglandular position to use the pectoralis major, or a latissimus dorsi muscle flap. With the increasing number of these cases along with the complexities of minimally invasive procedures, close communication and planning should be undertaken between both cardiothoracic and plastic surgeons when taking care of these patients. Above all, when faced with postoperative complications after MICS, the plastic surgeon must maintain a high index of clinical suspicion and consider the possibility of intrathoracic migration of an implant so that proper workup and planning may be initiated.

From the *Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center; and †Mississippi Premier Plastic Surgery, Jackson, MS.

Received July 14, 2014, and accepted for publication, after revision, October 31, 2014.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Somjade Jay Songcharoen, MD, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 N State St, Jackson, MS 39216. E-mail:

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