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Inferolateral AlloDerm Hammock for Implant Coverage in Breast Reconstruction

Breuing, Karl H. MD; Colwell, Amy S. MD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e31802f8426
Original Article

Purpose: Implant reconstruction is commonly performed to reconstruct mastectomy defects or to correct breast hypoplasia. We have been using an inferolateral AlloDerm hammock as an inferior extension of the pectoralis major muscle to provide a mechanical barrier between the implant and skin and to control implant position.

Methods: The inferior border of the AlloDerm hammock is attached inferiorly to the rectus abdominis fascia and laterally to the serratus anterior fascia to create the borders of the implant pocket. The AlloDerm is then sewn to the pectoralis major muscle to enclose the implant.

Results: The AlloDerm hammock was used in 43 patients and 67 breasts for immediate expander-implant reconstruction (10), immediate silicone implant reconstruction (30), delayed expander-implant reconstruction (4), and revisional implant reconstruction for capsular contracture following capsulectomy (23). The AlloDerm hammock allowed complete coverage of the implant and symmetric positioning of the inframammary fold. In delayed reconstructions with existing skin redundancy at the mastectomy site, inferior epigastric tissue was recruited and tissue expanders filled over 75% of the desired volume, thus decreasing the need for subsequent filling. Patients were overall satisfied with their results and had few complications. No capsular contracture, hematoma, or seroma was observed in 6 months to 3 years of follow-up.

Conclusion: Implant reconstruction with an inferolateral AlloDerm hammock facilitates positioning of the implant in immediate or revisional breast reconstruction and simplifies expander-implant reconstruction. This safe technique is easy to learn and should be considered a viable option for breast reconstruction.

An inferolateral AlloDerm hammock was used to assist in placement of implants or expanders in 67 breasts of 43 patients. No contractures, hematomas, or seromas were seen in 6 months to 3 years of follow-up.

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Received October 8, 2006, and accepted for publication, after revision, November 20, 2006.

Presented at the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, May 8, 2006; Hilton Head Island, SC.

Reprints: Karl H. Breuing, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.