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Mastopexy with Mesh Reinforcement: The Mechanical Characteristics of Polyester Mesh in the Female Breast

de Bruijn, Hans P. M.D., Ph.D.; ten Thije, René H. W. Ph.D.; Johannes, Siegmund M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: August 2009 - Volume 124 - Issue 2 - p 364-371
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181af0216
Breast: Original Articles

Background: Mastopexy is generally regarded as having only a temporary effect. To prevent recurrent ptosis, mesh has been inserted successfully and safely, without oncological drawbacks, for almost three decades. Recently, preshaped three-dimensional knitted polyester mesh in different sizes was introduced to reinforce the breast during mastopexy. Until now, however, the physical and mechanical characteristics of mesh inserted in the female breast were unknown.

Methods: Polyester mesh removed from breasts in which it had been implanted was subjected to mechanical tests (two implants) and histological examination (five pieces of implant).

Results: Mesh induces only a thin layer of collagenous tissue together acting as a composite material. The collagen increases the in-plane stiffness of the mesh and enhances the overall strength. The composite is so strong that rupture or failure is extremely unlikely. The mesh composite shows high pliability, is therefore very supple and not palpable under the skin.

Conclusion: Three-dimensional knitted polyester mesh appears to possess the proper mechanical characteristics to reinforce a ptotic breast during mastopexy.

Enschede, the Netherlands; and Johannesburg, South Africa

From the Medisch Spectrum Twente; Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Twente; and Olivedale Clinic.

Received for publication September 16, 2008; accepted December 31, 2008.

Disclosures: The authors have no financial interest or commercial association with the mesh manufacturer. Two authors (H.P.B. and S.J.), however, have an interest (shares) in the Breform company that developed the intellectual property. No financial contribution has been received by any of the authors.

Hans P. de Bruijn, M.D., Ph.D., Medisch Spectrum Twente, P.O. Box 50000, 7500 KA Enschede, the Netherlands,

©2009American Society of Plastic Surgeons