Aseptic Freeze-Dried versus Sterile Wet-Packaged Human Cadaveric Acellular Dermal Matrix in Immediate Tissue Expander Breast Reconstruction: A Propensity Score Analysis

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 May;141(5):624e-632e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004323.


Background: Although multiple acellular dermal matrix sources exist, it is unclear how its processing impacts complication rates. The authors compared complications between two preparations of human cadaveric acellular dermal matrix (freeze dried and ready-to-use) in immediate tissue expander breast reconstruction to analyze the effect of processing on complications.

Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed all alloplastic breast reconstructions with freeze-dried or ready-to-use human acellular dermal matrices between 2006 and 2016. The primary outcome measure was surgical-site occurrence defined as seroma, skin dehiscence, surgical-site infection, or reconstruction failure. The two groups were compared before and after propensity score matching.

Results: The authors included 988 reconstructions (freeze-dried, 53.8 percent; ready-to-use, 46.2 percent). Analysis of 384 propensity score-matched pairs demonstrated a slightly higher rate of surgical-site occurrence (21.4 percent versus 16.7 percent; p = 0.10) and surgical-site infection (9.6 percent versus 7.8 percent; p = 0.13) in the freeze-dried group than in the ready-to-use group, but the difference was not significant. However, failure was significantly higher for the freeze-dried versus ready-to-use group (7.8 percent versus 4.4 percent; p = 0.050).

Conclusions: This is the largest study comparing the outcomes of alloplastic breast reconstruction using human acellular dermal matrix materials prepared by different methods. The authors demonstrated higher early complications with aseptic, freeze-dried matrix than with sterile ready-to-use matrix; reconstructive failure was the only outcome to achieve statistical significance. The authors conclude that acellular dermal matrix preparation has an independent impact on patient outcomes in their comparison of one company's product.

Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, III.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acellular Dermis / adverse effects*
  • Acellular Dermis / statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Breast Implantation / adverse effects*
  • Breast Implantation / methods
  • Breast Implants / adverse effects*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Freeze Drying
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Propensity Score
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seroma / epidemiology
  • Seroma / etiology
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / etiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Tissue Expansion / adverse effects
  • Tissue Expansion / methods*
  • Treatment Failure