Acellular Dermal Matrix in Immediate Expander/Implant Breast Reconstruction: A Multicenter Assessment of Risks and Benefits

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Background:Acellular dermal matrix has gained widespread acceptance in immediate expander/implant reconstruction because of perceived benefits, including improved expansion dynamics and superior aesthetic results. Although previous investigators have evaluated its risks, few studies have assessed the impact of acellular dermal matrix on other outcomes, including patient-reported measures.Methods:The Mastectomy Reconstruction Outcomes Consortium Study used a prospective cohort design to evaluate patients undergoing postmastectomy reconstruction from 10 centers and 58 participating surgeons between 2012 and 2015. The analysis focused on women undergoing immediate tissue expander reconstruction following mastectomies for cancer treatment or prophylaxis. Medical records and patient-reported outcome data, using the BREAST-Q and Numeric Pain Rating Scale instruments, were reviewed. Bivariate analyses and mixed-effects regression models were applied.Results:A total of 1297 patients were evaluated, including 655 (50.5 percent) with acellular dermal matrix and 642 (49.5 percent) without acellular dermal matrix. Controlling for demographic and clinical covariates, no significant differences were seen between acellular dermal matrix and non–acellular dermal matrix cohorts in overall complications (OR, 1.21; p = 0.263), major complications (OR, 1.43; p = 0.052), wound infections (OR, 1.49; p = 0.118), or reconstructive failures (OR, 1.55; p = 0.089) at 2 years after reconstruction. There were also no significant differences between the cohorts in the time to expander/implant exchange (p = 0.78). No significant differences were observed in patient-reported outcome scores, including satisfaction with breasts, psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, physical well-being, and postoperative pain.Conclusions:In this multicenter, prospective analysis, the authors found no significant acellular dermal matrix effects on complications, time to exchange, or patient-reported outcome in immediate expander/implant breast reconstruction. Further studies are needed to develop criteria for more selective use of acellular dermal matrix in these patients.CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Therapeutic, II.

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