Avoiding Breast Animation Deformity with Pectoralis-Sparing Subcutaneous Direct-to-Implant Breast Reconstruction

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Summary:There is renewed interest in sparing the pectoralis major muscle in implant breast reconstruction, placing the implant in the subcutaneous position. This advance is made reliable by improvements in mastectomy skin flap quality, evolution of technique, and increased awareness of breast animation deformity. This retrospective review presents 13 patients (23 breasts) reconstructed immediately with placing the definitive implant in the subcutaneous space without disruption of the underlying chest muscles. None of the 13 patients had breast animation deformity postoperatively. One patient experienced an early hematoma, and 3 patients had small seromas that resolved uneventfully. One morbidly obese patient undergoing chemotherapy using a nearby chest port experienced infection requiring implant removal. This study describes an early experience, demonstrates feasibility, and discusses patient selection considerations that are important because we continue to evolve breast reconstruction approaches.

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