Background: Fibrin sealant is a controversial method for reducing seroma formation. It is comprised of human proclotting factors, fibrinogen and thrombin. Fibrin sealants have been extensively studied for their efficacy in reducing the rates of seroma by sealing the dead space; however, in most studies, the sealants are used with surgical drains. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, fibrin sealant carries the risk of life-threatening thromboembolic complications, gas emboli, and transmission of infectious agents. Despite these concerns, many plastic surgeons use such products in ambulatory surgeries even though its effect on seroma formation has yet to be elucidated. The aim of our study is to determine the efficacy of fibrin sealants in seroma prevention in reduction mammoplasty with and without surgical drains.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of all bilateral reduction mammaplasty by a single-surgeon from 2014 to 2018. Patients had at least 90 days postoperative follow-up. Exclusion criteria consisted of patients younger than 18 years, had prior breast surgery, or had an incidental cancer diagnosis in breast reduction tissue specimen.
Results: On analysis, 159 patients met inclusion criteria and were categorized into group 1, with fibrin sealant (n = 101) and group 2, no fibrin sealant (n = 58). There were no statistical differences in patient demographics. There was no significant difference in the incidence of seroma between group 1 and group 2 (21% vs 19%, P = 0.782). Group 1 incidence of seroma was further analyzed by sealant type: Tisseal, Floseal, and Evicel (12% vs 27% vs 23%, P = 0.436). In group 1, the use of sealant alone was more likely to result in seroma formation when compared with the combination of sealant and surgical drains (25% vs 8%, P = 0.069).
Conclusions: There is no difference in rate of seroma formation with the use of fibrin sealants in reduction mammaplasty. The use of fibrin sealants without surgical drains may increase the rate of seromas. Plastic surgeons could consider weighing the risk versus benefits in using fibrin sealants with or without drains in ambulatory surgeries.
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