- Question from MCragg: I recently have had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction using AlloDerm and a saline implant. Are there any studies that have been done to evaluate the percentage of risk for encapsulation between AlloDerm and expanders? What is the alternative to having a breast reconstructed if encapsulation becomes a severe problem?
I don't know of any studies that compare capsular contracture using AlloDerm (chemical name: acellular tissue matrix) or not using AlloDerm. For most patients, the tissue expander is usually fairly hard and very firm, and very much unlike what we will ultimately get when we remove the tissue expander and put in the permanent implant. If someone gets a severe capsule after the final implant is placed, the alternative is to remove the capsule and the implant and try a different type of implant. If the capsule comes back after something like that, then we usually consider an alternative procedure that does not involve an implant, such as a TRAM flap or one of its muscle-preserving alternatives.
Editor's note: AlloDerm is donated human tissue.
On Wednesday, May 16, 2007, the Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Reconstruction Updates. Joseph Serletti, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answered your questions about breast reconstruction.
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