Immediate breast reconstruction with definitive anatomical implants after skin-sparing mastectomy

Marzia Salgarello, Eugenio Giuseppe Farallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One-stage breast reconstruction with definitive implants was the original method of breast reconstruction. It gave a round breast with a fixed shape. Lack of skin after mastectomy was the main concern who led to the development of techniques to provide 'new' breast skin such as autogenous reconstruction and tissue expanders. This made the use of definitive implants almost obsolete. Since skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) basically removes the mammary gland and the nipple-areolar complex preserving almost all mammary skin, it makes the use of definitive implants in immediate breast reconstruction possible again. Moreover, the advent of anatomically shaped implants overcomes the drawback of round shape: the anatomical implant with hyperprojected lower pole and short upper pole matches very well the profile of a real breast. The authors report their experience in 36 immediate breast reconstruction after SSM with short upper pole-hyperprojected silicone gel prostheses carried out between October 2001 and October 2003. In most cases SSM is performed through a circumareolar incision. Axillary dissection is preferably performed through the same incision. The anatomical implant is placed in a submuscular position superiorly and in a subfascial pocket inferiorly. Because of skin redundancy and easy distension of subfascial tissue in the inferior pole of the breast, the implant fills the skin of the inferior mammary pole without needing any skin expansion. Whenever possible, the skin incision is closed with a purse-string suture. The skin will look very wrinkled at the end of the surgery, but it will flatten out in a few weeks. The contralateral breast is simultaneously corrected, if needed. Outcome was assessed by evaluation of photographs performed by the authors, by the patients themselves and by a blinded group of surgeons who evaluated breast volume and shape, breast symmetry, and overall outcome. More than 90% of each of these parameters was scored as good or excellent. Complication rates was low with a 8.3% rate. The use of definitive implants in immediate breast reconstruction after SSM is a one-stage breast reconstruction with low morbidity and very good results, and it is associated with high level of patient and surgeon satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-222
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Plastic Surgery
Volume58
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Implants
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty
  • Mastectomy, Subcutaneous
  • Middle Aged
  • Suture Techniques
  • Tissue Expansion Devices

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