Similarly, if the symptoms are present after the tissue expander has been exchanged for a permanent implant, the condition of the overlying skin may again help guide treatment decisions. If patients with permanent implants and a history of radiation therapy experience pain/tightness, but do not demonstrate severe stigma of irradiation in the overlying skin, they might be successfully treated by one of the measures previously described. However, if the overlying skin appears tight and hard, the pain and tightness will likely not resolve without explantation or the addition of autologous tissue. Having this added level of specificity should improve accuracy of diagnosis and ultimately help all clinicians and researchers involved with this challenging condition.
Elliot M. Hirsch, M.D.
Akhil K. Seth, M.D.
Neil A. Fine, M.D.
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill.
The authors have no financial interest in any of the products mentioned in this article. They received no funding from the manufacturers of any products mentioned in this paper, and have no corporate or financial affiliations with the manufacturers.
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