American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Acellular Dermal Matrix Techniques Successful in Breast Reconstruction Revision Surgery
Experience Using Tissue 'Lattice' for Immediate Reconstruction Proves Useful for Revisions

Arlington Heights, Ill. - Breast cancer patients undergoing mastectomy increasingly expect excellent cosmetic results after breast reconstruction. A type of biomaterial called "acellular dermal matrix" (ADM) is now helping surgeons when revision surgery is needed after breast reconstruction, according to a study in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

ASPS Member Surgeon Dr. Scott L. Spear and colleagues of Georgetown University Hospital report good results with techniques using ADM for revision breast reconstruction. They write, "ADM has proven to be a reliable tool in managing some of the most common and challenging problems in implant-based breast reconstruction."

ADM Has High Success Rate in Revision Surgery after Reconstruction...

Over a five-year period, Dr. Spear and colleagues used ADM as part of revision surgery for cosmetic improvements and other problems developing after breast reconstruction. Acellular dermal matrix is made from skin from which the cells have been removed, leaving behind a sterile framework or "lattice" of tissue that the patient's own cells can grow into and eventually replace.

The researchers report their experience with ADM in a total of 135 breast reconstruction procedures. The most common uses were to address problems affecting the appearance of the lower breast: either to correct the fold under the breast (inframammary fold) in 37 percent of cases, or to provide support in 26 percent for the lower pole of the breast.

In 27 percent of cases, ADM was used to manage hardening (contracture) of the capsule around the breast implant. Less commonly, ADM was used to manage problems related to "rippling" or incorrect positioning (symmastia) of the implant.

Revision procedures using ADM were highly successful and safe. The overall success rate was 95.5 percent, with a complication rate of just five percent. Further surgery was needed in only about one percent of cases-a much lower rate than in premarket studies of ADM for repeat breast augmentation surgery.

...Helping to Meet Expectations for Good Cosmetic Results

Originally developed as an alternative to skin grafting in burn patients, ADM has proven useful in various types of reconstructive surgery-including initial breast reconstruction following mastectomy. In the authors' experience, using ADM for revision implant breast reconstruction was a natural outgrowth of its use in immediate breast reconstruction.

Techniques using ADM are particularly helpful at a time when patients and surgeons alike are demanding a better final appearance with breast reconstruction, Dr. Spear and coauthors believe. They write, "Increased patient expectations have blurred the line between reconstructive and aesthetic breast surgery, challenging surgeons to find innovative and reproducible ways to create favorable, reproducible, and durable results, similar more and more to the results obtainable with cosmetic breast surgery."

In their article, Dr. Spear and colleagues briefly outline their techniques using ADM to manage specific problems. Their experience suggests that ADM is a useful and versatile tool for addressing common concerns arising after implant-based breast reconstruction. The researchers conclude, "Although there were complications, there was a high frequency of success in managing these challenging problems."

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

About Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

For over 75 years, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® has been the one consistently excellent reference for every specialist who uses plastic surgery techniques or works in conjunction with a plastic surgeon. The official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® brings subscribers up-to-the-minute reports on the latest techniques and follow-up for all areas of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction, experimental studies, maxillofacial reconstruction, hand and microsurgery, burn repair and cosmetic surgery, as well as news on medico-legal issues.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. Representing more than 11,000 physician members worldwide, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 92 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

About Wolters Kluwer

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