Chest wall—reconstruction: yesterday, today and the future

Nuria M. Novoa, José Luis Aranda Alcaide, Maria Teresa Gomez Hernández, Marta G. Fuentes, Ender Goñi, Marcelo F. Jimenez Lopez


Chest wall reconstruction is crucial not only for an uneventful postoperative period after chest wall resection, but also, for ensuring a lifelong good quality of life for the patient. Complex reconstructions should be carefully planned and, sometimes, plastic surgeons are essential for a successful procedure. Various materials and surgical strategies have been developed, giving us the opportunity to choose the best technique for our patient. Emerging developments are mostly based on the use of new materials and the possibility of 3D custom made prosthesis. Currently, this approach is expensive making it exclusive, but in the short term, probably, it will be open for most thoracic units. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that standard surgical procedures, although not so fancy, have demonstrated to be effective and these techniques are universally available. This paper reviews techniques for chest wall reconstruction of large defects from traditional up to the most recently developed techniques.