Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Uneventful versus Successful Reconstruction and Outcome Pathways in Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction with Acellular Dermal Matrices

Qureshi, Ali A. M.D.; Broderick, Kristen P. M.D.; Belz, Jessica M.D.; Funk, Susan M.B.A.; Reaven, Nancy M.A.; Brandt, Keith E. M.D.; Tenenbaum, Marissa M. M.D.; Margenthaler, Julie A. M.D.; Aft, Rebecca L. M.D., Ph.D.; Myckatyn, Terence M. M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: August 2016 - Volume 138 - Issue 2 - p 173e-183e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000002402
Breast: Original Articles

Background: Meaningful data to help guide resource allocation for staged tissue expander/implant-based breast reconstruction are currently lacking. The authors seek to differentiate uneventful from successful reconstruction and identify common outcome pathways and factors that portend a deviation from an uneventful, two-stage, two-operation course.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of expander/implant reconstructions with or without acellular dermal matrix (2003 to 2009) was performed. Related postreconstructive events (including mastectomy flap necrosis, seroma, wound dehiscence, cellulitis, explantation, hematoma, and capsular revisions) were assessed for 2 years. Uneventful reconstruction was defined as exchange to breast implant within 2 years of tissue expander placement without complications, whereas successful reconstruction was defined as exchange to breast implant within 2 years with or without complications. Factors affecting reconstructive success were analyzed, and patterns of postreconstructive events were summarized as outcome pathways.

Results: Four hundred thirteen patients (295 with acellular dermal matrix and 118 without), with 602 breasts (432 with acellular dermal matrix and 170 without) underwent reconstruction. Forty-six percent of patients (48 percent with acellular dermal matrix and 40 percent without), experienced uneventful reconstruction. Reconstructive success was achieved in 337 patients (82 percent; 82.0 percent with acellular dermal matrix and 80.5 percent without), with reconstructive failure occurring in 58 patients. Multiple logistic regression analyses determined that cellulitis, seroma, and skin necrosis (OR, 15.8, 7.7, and 8.4, respectively) were highly predictive of reconstructive failure. The authors identified 10 distinct pathways experienced by tissue expander/implant patients that were characterized by specific postreconstructive events.

Conclusion: The present study will facilitate discussions among patients, providers, and payers by providing a framework for understanding the myriad outcome pathways in implant-based reconstruction.


St. Louis, Mo.; and La Canada, Calif.

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine; and Strategic Health Resources.

Received for publication October 27, 2015; accepted March 28, 2016.

Disclosure:Dr. Myckatyn receives grant funding from LifeCell Corporation. The other authors have no financial interest to declare. Funds from LifeCell Corporation were used to pay for third party statistician and salaries of data abstractors at Washington University.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the text; simply type the URL address into any Web browser to access this content. Clickable links to the material are provided in the HTML text of this article on the Journal’s Web site (

Terence M. Myckatyn, M.D., Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 1040 North Mason Road, Suite 124, St. Louis, Mo. 63141,

Copyright © 2016 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons