Results from Over One Year of Follow-Up for Absorbable Mesh Insertion in Partial Mastectomy

Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Yonsei medical journal (Impact Factor: 1.29). 09/2011; 52(5):803-8. DOI: 10.3349/ymj.2011.52.5.803
Source: PubMed


Recently, several clinicians have reported the advantages of simplicity and cosmetic satisfaction of absorbable mesh insertion. However, there is insufficient evidence regarding its long-term outcomes. We have investigated the surgical complications and postoperative examination from the oncologic viewpoint.
From February 2008 to March 2009, 34 breast cancer patients underwent curative surgery with absorbable mesh insertion in Samsung Medical Center. Patient characteristics and follow up results including complications, clinical and radiological findings were retrospectively investigated.
The mean age of the study population was 50.1±8.9 years old (range 31-82) with a mean tumor size of 3±1.8 cm (range 0.8-10.5), and the excised breast tissue showed a mean volume of 156.1±99.8 mL (range 27-550). Over the median follow-up period of 18±4.6 months (range 3-25), mesh associated complications, including severe pain or discomfort, edema, and recurrent fluid collection, occurred in nine patients (26.5%). In three cases (8.8%), recurrent mastitis resulted in mesh removal or surgical intervention. In the postoperative radiologic survey, the most common finding was fluid collection, which occurred in five patients (16.1%), including one case with organizing hematoma. Fat necrosis and microcalcifications were found in three patients (9.7%).
Absorbable mesh insertion has been established as a technically feasible, time-saving procedure after breast excision. However, the follow-up results showed some noticeable side effects and the oncologic safety of the procedure is unconfirmed. Therefore, we suggest that mesh insertion should be considered only in select cases and should be followed-up carefully.

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    • "In 2009, a Korean national survey revealed that 74.1% of surgeons had used an absorbable mesh due to the simplicity and time saving aspects of the technique [13]. Although absorbable mesh insertion has been reported to be a technically feasible and time sparing procedure [14], a significant rate of infection, chronic pain and subsequent removal of the mesh or surgical intervention have recently been reported as follow-up time progresses [15,16]. "
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