Background: Use of acellular dermal matrix in tissue expander breast reconstruction has become a popular adjunct to the total submuscular technique. The question remains as to which matrix, if any, is ideal for breast reconstruction. Methods: A randomized trial was conducted to analyze outcomes of immediate staged tissue expander breast reconstruction using either AlloDerm or Derma- Matrix. The impact of obesity, radiation, and chemotherapy on complications and biointegration of matrix was investigated. The trial was divided into three stages, with stage I results reported here. Results: One hundred twenty-eight patients (199 breasts) were randomized equally over 2.5 years. Most patients were white, healthy nonsmokers. The overall complication rate was 36.2 percent; half of the complications were minor. The AlloDerm and DermaMatrix groups had similar rates of complications (33.6 percent versus 38.8 percent; p = 0.52), consisting mostly of skin necrosis (17.8 percent versus 21.4 percent; p = 0.66) and infections (13.9 percent versus 16.3 percent; p = 0.29), both of which led to tissue expander losses (5 percent versus 11.2 percent; p = 0.11). The AlloDerm group required less time for completion of expansion (42 days versus 70 days; p < 0.001). Obesity was associated with poor matrix biointegration and a longer drain time, both of which were associated with higher complication rates. Conclusion: The Breast Reconstruction Evaluation Using Acellular Dermal Matrix as a Sling Trial is the largest randomized trial to date in matrix breast reconstruction and emphasizes the importance of careful patient and allograft selection to minimize complications.
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