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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2007;60(11):1214-8. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

Use of acellular cadaveric dermis and tissue expansion in postmastectomy breast reconstruction.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Tissue expander or permanent implant coverage in postmastectomy breast reconstruction is often challenging. Multiple authors have demonstrated the use of acellular cadaveric dermis (ACD) in nonexpansive, single-stage breast reconstruction. The literature also suggests that tissue expansion may be accomplished with ACD as well for stage reconstructions. In many cases tissue expansion is necessary to create a submuscular and subACD pocket to accommodate a subsequent permanent prosthesis. In this study we report the outcomes and complication rates of using ACD in staged breast reconstruction. We reviewed the charts of 41 patients (65 breasts) in whom ACD was used in staged reconstructions. We analysed the patients' charts and operative records to determine postoperative complication rates and results. Complication rates for wound infection, expander removal, haematoma, and seroma were: 3.1% (two of 65), 1.5% (one of 65), 1.5% (one of 65), and 4.6% (three of 65), respectively. The use of ACD in expansive postmastectomy breast reconstruction has an extremely low complication rate, results in good cosmetic outcome, and should be in the repertoire of plastic surgeons. Further follow up is needed to evaluate the long term outcomes of ACD use in postmastectomy breast reconstruction.

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