Important Considerations for Performing Prepectoral Breast Reconstruction

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Abstract

Summary:

Prepectoral breast reconstruction has emerged as an excellent technique for postmastectomy reconstruction, as it allows for full preservation of a patient’s pectoralis major muscle and chest wall function. This reduces pain, eliminates animation deformity, and results in high patient satisfaction. Safely performed prepectoral breast reconstruction requires a careful patient selection process before committing to the procedure, taking into account comorbidities, radiation status, and oncologic criteria such as tumor location and breast cancer stage. Furthermore, a thorough intraoperative assessment of mastectomy skin flaps is critical, with careful and precise confirmation that the skin is viable and well perfused, prior to proceeding with prepectoral breast reconstruction. This can be done both clinically and with perfusion assessment devices. The use of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) has enhanced outcomes and aesthetics of prepectoral reconstruction, by providing implant coverage and soft-tissue support. The ADM also adds the benefit of reducing capsular contracture rates and offers full control over the aesthetic definition of the newly reconstructed breast pocket. Aesthetic enhancement of results requires routine use of oversizing implants in the skin envelope, careful selection of full capacity or cohesive gel implants, and autologous fat grafting. In this way, patients in all clinical scenarios can benefit from the full muscle-sparing technique of prepectoral breast reconstruction, including those undergoing immediate reconstruction, delayed reconstruction, and delayed conversion from a subpectoral to prepectoral plane to correct animation deformity.

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