Animation Deformity in Postmastectomy Implant-Based Reconstruction

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Abstract

Background:

Despite increasing interest in prepectoral implant-based reconstruction to avoid animation deformity (AD), the prevalence of this deformity and patient attitudes toward it have not been extensively studied. The purpose of this study was to report on AD in the breast reconstruction population and identify those at highest risk.

Methods:

A retrospective chart review was completed for patients at least 6 months postoperative from subpectoral, implant-based breast reconstruction using acellular dermal matrix in the lower pole. Patient age, BMI, and implant size were collected. A questionnaire was distributed to the patients. Returned questionnaires were compiled and data were analyzed.

Results:

Eighty-four of 108 patients (77.8%) returned the questionnaire with 62 (75.6%) reporting AD; 75.6% of patients were aware of AD, 14.6% considered it moderate, and 11% considered it severe. No statistically significant differences in age, body mass index, implant size, or athleticism were found between those who noted AD versus those who did not. Forty-one of 79 patients (51.9%) would have been interested in an initial surgical procedure without AD; interest dropped significantly if the alternative surgery involved increased risk, cost, or additional stages of reconstruction.

Conclusion:

The prevalence of AD in subpectoral implant-based breast reconstruction is significantly higher than in subpectoral augmentation. The majority of patients expressed interest in an alternative procedure to avoid AD unless it involved increased risk, cost, or additional surgeries. We found insignificant differences in age, athleticism, BMI, and implant size between patients who note AD and those who do not. Further study is necessary to better define patients at risk for AD to guide patient-centered breast reconstruction.

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