We present the case of a 54-year-old woman who underwent a two-stage breast reconstruction with a tissue expander after sustaining a lumpectomy and local radiotherapy for breast cancer. During expansion, the woman developed an abnormal concave deformity of the chest wall. Although respiratory or aesthetic consequences were expected, our patient reported only pain and was satisfied with the end result. Osteoporosis or local recurrence was excluded as predisposing factors, and radiotherapy was considered to be the causal factor in our patient. On the basis of this finding, we advise surgeons to take the risk of chest-wall deformity into consideration when planning a reconstruction with tissue expanders, especially in patients with a history of radiotherapy, and we recommend an alternative reconstructive method in this group of patients.
de Wildt, R. P., Tuinder, S., & van der Hulst, R. R. (2009). Substantial chest-wall deformity following tissue expansion after radiotherapy. European Journal of Plastic Surgery, 32, 337-340. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00238-009-0364-1