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How to Improve Projection in Nipple Reconstruction: A Modified Method Using Acellular Dermal Matrix Disk and Fragments

Lee, Hun Joo, M.D.; Ock, Jae Jin, M.D., Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: April 2019 - Volume 143 - Issue 4 - p 698e-706e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005454
Breast: Original Articles

Background: Nipple reconstruction is an essential, final stage in breast reconstruction. However, postoperative reduction in nipple projection often results in low patient satisfaction. The authors studied the causes of the projection decline and developed a new method using acellular dermal matrix. This research studies the effectiveness of the new method.

Methods: The nipple flap was elevated using a modified C-V flap, and acellular dermal matrix disk was fixed onto the floor. A column was made, into which acellular dermal matrix fragments were put in to retain the projection. The footprint diameter and projection at 1 year were compared with those of the control group, in which acellular dermal matrix was not used. The authors studied the correlation between diameter and projection and whether reconstruction method caused any impact.

Results: At 1-year follow-up, the nipple diameter and projection in the acellular dermal matrix group were measured to be 102.90 percent and 64.19 percent, respectively, of the baseline. Compared with the control group, the diameter was significantly smaller (p = 0.00) and the projection was higher (p = 0.00). A significant correlation was identified between nipple diameters and projections, at 1-year follow-up, across the total 90 reconstructed nipples (p = 0.00). Different reconstruction methods did not show significant differences in terms of nipple diameter and projection, but the projections at 1 year were highest in the latissimus dorsi flap plus implant group, followed by the expander group and the transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous flap group.

Conclusion: Nipple reconstruction using acellular dermal matrix disk and fragments prevents downward shifting of the nipple tissue and broadening of the footprint diameter and thus is favorable for long-term maintenance of nipple projection.

Seoul, Republic of Korea

From THE Plastic Surgery.

Received for publication November 6, 2017; accepted August 22, 2018.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article. No outside funding was received.

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Jae Jin Ock, M.D., Ph.D., THE Plastic Surgery, 5,6F Gujeong B/D, 868 Nonhyeon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06022, Republic of Korea,

Copyright © 2019 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons