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Arch Plast Surg. 2013 Jan;40(1):19-27. doi: 10.5999/aps.2013.40.1.19. Epub 2013 Jan 14.

Human Acellular Dermis versus Submuscular Tissue Expander Breast Reconstruction: A Multivariate Analysis of Short-Term Complications.

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Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.



Acellular dermal matrix (ADM) allografts and their putative benefits have been increasingly described in prosthesis based breast reconstruction. There have been a myriad of analyses outlining ADM complication profiles, but few large-scale, multi-institutional studies exploring these outcomes. In this study, complication rates of acellular dermis-assisted tissue expander breast reconstruction were compared with traditional submuscular methods by evaluation of the American College of Surgeon's National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) registry.


Patients who underwent immediate tissue expander breast reconstruction from 2006-2010 were identified using surgical procedure codes. Two hundred forty tracked variables from over 250 participating sites were extracted for patients undergoing acellular dermis-assisted versus submuscular tissue expander reconstruction. Thirty-day postoperative outcomes and captured risk factors for complications were compared between the two groups.


A total of 9,159 patients underwent tissue expander breast reconstruction; 1,717 using acellular dermis and 7,442 with submuscular expander placement. Total complications and reconstruction related complications were similar in both cohorts (5.5% vs. 5.3%, P=0.68 and 4.7% vs. 4.3%, P=0.39, respectively). Multivariate logistic regression revealed body mass index and smoking as independent risk factors for reconstructive complications in both cohorts (P<0.01).


The NSQIP database provides large-scale, multi-institutional, independent outcomes for acellular dermis and submuscular breast reconstruction. Both thirty-day complication profiles and risk factors for post operative morbidity are similar between these two reconstructive approaches.


Alloderm; Breast implantation; Complications; Mammaplasty; Tissue expansion devices

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