• Chest wall recurrence following radiation and hormonal therapy is an uncommon but serious and disabling condition. A chest wall ulcer secondary to treatment for recurrence also presents the same dilemma. Over the past 35 years, the Thoracic Service at our institution has treated 35 patients for these problems by surgical resection and reconstruction. Eight patients were seen after the first recurrence, six after the second, ten after the third, and ten after the fourth. One patient had chest wall resection with mastectomy when recurrence followed radiation therapy. Following resection of the tumor, 21 patients had reconstruction using mesh or a mesh "sandwich." There were no operative deaths and no respirator need. Twenty patients are alive from five to 120 months, with a median of 50 months. One of 35 patients had chest wall rerecurrence. Surgical resection of recurrent mammary carcinoma resistant to all other therapy is a viable alternative for both palliation and cure.
(Arch Surg 1989;124:158-161)