Table of Contents
ISRN Plastic Surgery
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 606073, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Short-Term Effects of Radiotherapy Postquadrantectomy on Internal Mammary Artery and Vein

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Insubria, Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazione Macchi, Viale Borri 57, 21100 Varese, Italy

Received 6 December 2012; Accepted 3 February 2013

Academic Editors: R. K. Chan, H. Fansa, M. Okazaki, and Z. Panthaki

Copyright © 2013 Mario Cherubino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


When a tumor local recurrence occurs a possible approach can be a mastectomy with simultaneous breast reconstruction with autologous tissue. The area involved by tangential radiation portals includes also the internal mammary artery and veins, considered by the most part of plastic surgeons to be the best recipient vessels for a free flap in breast reconstruction. Internal mammary vessels receives low but not necessary insignificant doses during whole breast irradiation; arteries and veins are traditionally considered quietly resistant to the irradiation but limited data on the flux in mammary vessels after radiotherapy are available. The goal of our study (37 patients from September 2011 to February 2012) was to evaluate modifications in vascular parameters of the flux at ultrasonography in the internal mammary chain after adjuvant radiotherapy that could influence the choice of the autologous surgical technique (free or pedicled flap) and the choice of the recipient vessels in breast reconstruction. Based on the results of our study, we would recommend avoiding an irradiated recipient site when no irradiated recipient vessels are available; a preoperative ultrasound evaluation is recommended in patients underwent whole breast irradiation.