Background: Ideally, breast reconstruction is performed at the time of mastectomy in a single stage with minimal scarring. However, postoperative complications with direct-to-implant subpectoral reconstruction remain significant. These include asymmetry, flap necrosis, animation deformity, and discomfort. We report on a series of patients who have undergone immediate single-stage prepectoral, implant-based breast reconstruction with a smooth, adjustable saline implant covered with mesh/acellular dermal matrix for support using a vertical mastectomy incision. This technique, when combined with an adjustable implant, addresses the complications related to subpectoral implant placement of traditional expanders. Our follow-up time, 4.6 years (55 months), shows a low risk of implant loss and elimination of animation deformity while also providing patients with a safe and aesthetically pleasing result.
Methods: All patients who underwent immediate implant-based prepectoral breast reconstruction using a vertical mastectomy incision as a single-staged procedure were included. Charts were reviewed retrospectively. Adjustable smooth round saline implants and mesh/acellular dermal matrix were used for fixation in all cases.
Results: Thirty-one patients (62 breasts) underwent single-staged implant-based prepectoral breast reconstruction using a vertical mastectomy incision. Postoperative complications occurred in 9 patients, 6 of which were resolved with postoperative intervention while only 2 cases resulted in implant loss.
Conclusions: There can be significant morbidity associated with traditional subpectoral implant-based breast reconstruction. As an alternative, the results of this study show that an immediate single-stage prepectoral breast reconstruction with a smooth saline adjustable implant, using a vertical incision, in conjunction with mesh/matrix support can be performed with excellent aesthetic outcomes and minimal complications.