A Meta-analysis of Studies Comparing Outcomes of Diverse Acellular Dermal Matrices for Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction

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The current diversity of the available acellular dermal matrix (ADM) materials for implant-based breast reconstruction raises the issue of whether there are any differences in postoperative outcomes according to the kind of ADM used. The present meta-analysis aimed to investigate whether choice of ADM products can affect outcomes.


Studies that used multiple kinds of ADM products for implant-based breast reconstruction and compared outcomes between them were searched. Outcomes of interest were rates of postoperative complications: infection, seroma, mastectomy flap necrosis, reconstruction failure, and overall complications.


A total of 17 studies met the selection criteria. There was only 1 randomized controlled trial, and the other 16 studies had retrospective designs. Comparison of FlexHD, DermaMatrix, and ready-to-use AlloDerm with freeze-dried AlloDerm was conducted in multiple studies and could be meta-analyzed, in which 12 studies participated. In the meta-analysis comparing FlexHD and freeze-dried AlloDerm, using the results of 6 studies, both products showed similar pooled risks for all kinds of complications. When comparing DermaMatrix and freeze-dried AlloDerm with the results from 4 studies, there were also no differences between the pooled risks of complications of the two. Similarly, the meta-analysis of 4 studies comparing ready-to-use and freeze-dried AlloDerm demonstrated that the pooled risks for the complications did not differ.


This meta-analysis demonstrates that the 3 recently invented, human cadaveric skin–based products of FlexHD, DermaMatrix, and ready-to-use AlloDerm have similar risks of complications compared with those of freeze-dried AlloDerm, which has been used for longer. However, as most studies had low levels of evidence, further investigations are needed.

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