The Use of AlloDerm in Postmastectomy Alloplastic Breast Reconstruction: Part I. A Systematic Review

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Postmastectomy alloplastic breast reconstruction is a common procedure that continues to evolve. Increasingly, AlloDerm is being used in both direct-to-implant and two-stage breast reconstruction. The objective of this systematic review was to summarize the outcomes from studies describing this use of AlloDerm, and to compare outcomes to those from studies reviewing non-AlloDerm alloplastic reconstruction.


A computerized search was performed across multiple databases. Studies involving patients undergoing alloplastic breast reconstruction with AlloDerm were included. A systematic review was performed to include randomized controlled trials, comparative observational studies, noncomparative observational studies, and case series.


A systematic review of the literature revealed 14 studies that satisfied inclusion criteria. Both acute and long-term complication rates were obtained. No objective validated outcomes were reported. Ninety-three percent of included studies were level IV evidence. Complication rates were as follows: infection, 0 to 11 percent; hematoma, 0 to 6.7 percent; seroma, 0 to 9 percent; partial flap necrosis, 0 to 25 percent; implant exposure with removal, 0 to 14 percent; implant exposure with salvage, 0 to 4 percent; capsular contracture, 0 to 8 percent; and rippling, 0 to 6 percent. No study included a cost analysis.


Complications using AlloDerm are comparable to those of non-AlloDerm alloplastic reconstructions. AlloDerm appears to confer a low rate of capsular contracture. A formal analysis is required to determine AlloDerm's cost effectiveness in use for direct-to-implant reconstructions. In addition, a randomized controlled trial comparing AlloDerm use to conventional two-stage reconstruction is currently absent from the literature.

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