Contralateral Augmentation with a Transmidline Scarless Technique During Unilateral Breast Reconstruction Using Implants

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Abstract

Background:

Unilateral breast reconstruction can be a challenge when attempting to achieve an aesthetically pleasing and symmetrical breast mound on the contralateral side. This study investigates the outcomes of using a contralateral augmentation transmidline scarless (CATS) technique to simultaneously augment the contralateral breast using implants.

Methods:

Between January 2004 and July 2016, patients undergoing unilateral implant-based breast reconstruction and simultaneous contralateral implant augmentation using a transmidline access were studied. Characteristics and complications using this technique were assessed.

Results:

Sixty-five (91.5%) of 71 patients used the CATS technique for unilateral breast reconstruction using implants with contralateral breast implant augmentation. The remaining 6 cases used a preexisting chest scar. In the assessment of complication rates between the reconstructed and augmented sides, the reconstructed side had a statistically significant higher rate of implant exposure (P = 0.04) and total complications (P = 0.02). In comparing the revision rates between these 2 groups, the need for implant change (P = 0.04) and the total revision rates (P = 0.01) were higher in the reconstructive side. Use of saline implants had a higher rate of chest wall and breast skin necrosis (P = 0.03) in comparison with silicone implants. There was not a statistically significant difference in complications when comparing timing of reconstructions (immediate versus delayed).

Conclusions:

The CATS technique can be performed safely, with a desirable aesthetic outcome, and also symmetry with minimal risk of symmastia during unilateral breast reconstruction using implant-based reconstruction.

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