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Applications of Acellular Dermal Matrix in Revision Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Spear, Scott L. M.D.; Sher, Sarah R. M.D.; Al-Attar, Ali M.D., Ph.D.; Pittman, Troy M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: January 2014 - Volume 133 - Issue 1 - p 1–10
doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000436810.88659.36
Breast: Original Articles
Press Release

Background: Acellular dermal matrix has been used for over a decade in primary breast reconstruction. Few articles have specifically examined its use in revision breast reconstruction for fold malposition, capsular contracture, rippling, and symmastia.

Methods: One hundred thirty-five revision breast reconstructive procedures using acellular dermal matrix (AlloDerm) in 118 patients (154 breasts) over a 5-year period were reviewed. Most procedures were revisions or part of the second stage of previous mastectomy reconstructions; three were revisions after reconstruction of congenital chest wall deformities.

Results: Fifty-seven revisions (37 percent) were for inferior fold malposition, followed by 40 (25.9 percent) for inferior pole support, 42 (27.2 percent) for capsular contracture, 10 (6.4 percent) for rippling, and five (3.2 percent) for symmastia. The overall complication rate was 5 percent. Revisions with acellular dermal matrix were successful in 147 of 154 breasts (95.5 percent). The most common complication was capsular contracture, occurring in five breasts (3.2 percent). There was one infection (0.6 percent), failure to lower the inframammary fold in one breast (0.6 percent), and one persistence of rippling (0.6 percent). The mean follow-up was 207 days.

Conclusions: Acellular dermal matrix has proven to be a reliable tool for managing some of the most common and challenging problems in implant-based breast reconstruction. Although there are few published data on the success of more conventional solutions to fold malposition, lower pole support, and capsular contracture, the addition of acellular dermal matrix to buttress these repairs has been shown to provide a high likelihood of success with a low risk of complications.


Washington, D.C.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital.

Received for publication May 28, 2013; accepted August 15, 2013.

Disclosure: Dr. Spear is a consultant to LifeCell Corporation and Allergan, Inc.; Drs. Sher, Al-Attar, and Pittman do not have any disclosures. No external funding supported this article.

Scott L. Spear, M.D., Department of Plastic Surgery, Georgetown University Hospital, 1st Floor PHC Building, 3800 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20007,

©2014American Society of Plastic Surgeons