Background: A 2010 nationwide survey of plastic and reconstructive surgeons indicated that approximately 83 percent performed predominantly implant-based breast reconstruction, with acellular dermal matrix used by approximately half of those practitioners. Although the medical literature documents well over 2000 cases of breast reconstruction with matrices, relatively few cases using other than human cadaveric acellular dermal matrices have been reported. The author compared complications and costs using SurgiMend fetal bovine and AlloDerm human cadaveric acellular dermal matrices.
Methods: A retrospective review of a single surgeon’s 5-year experience was performed for consecutive, nonrandomized immediate breast reconstructions with acellular dermal matrix from 2005 to 2010.
Results: Two hundred eighty-one patients had 440 implant-based reconstructions using SurgiMend [222 patients (79.0 percent)] or AlloDerm [59 patients (21.0 percent)]. No significant differences in complication rates were observed between SurgiMend and AlloDerm for hematoma, infection, major skin necrosis, or breast implant removal. Seroma was the most prevalent complication; the seroma rate for AlloDerm (15.7 percent) was significantly greater than that for SurgiMend (8.3 percent). Using recent product costs for equivalently sized AlloDerm and SurgiMend units, the cost of SurgiMend was $1024 less per breast than AlloDerm.
Conclusions: SurgiMend fetal bovine and AlloDerm human cadaveric acellular dermal matrices demonstrate similar rates of major early complications in breast reconstruction in this study. This similarity in complication rates between SurgiMend and AlloDerm and the cost savings seen with the use of SurgiMend are factors for the surgeon to consider in choosing a matrix for breast reconstruction.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.