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imageBackground: Although direct-to-implant breast reconstruction is a more concise procedure than 2-stage expander/implant reconstruction, it is less frequently performed. Skeptics of direct-to-implant reconstruction cite risk of postoperative complications as a reason for its rejection. To determine whether these perceptions are valid, we evaluated our 13-year experience of acellular dermal matrix (ADM)-assisted, direct-to-implant breast reconstruction. We report complication and reoperation rates associated with this technique as well as predictors for these outcomes.
Methods: This retrospective study included all patients who underwent immediate, ADM-assisted, direct-to-implant, breast reconstruction from December 2001 to May 2014 at 2 practices. Postoperative complications, defined as those occurring within the first 12 months after reconstructive surgery, were evaluated. Univariate/multivariate analyses were performed to determine the influence of patient-, breast-, and surgery-related characteristics on the development of complications.
Results: A total of 1584 breast reconstructions (721 bilateral, 142 unilateral) in 863 patients were performed; 35% were oncologic, and 65% were prophylactic reconstructions. Complication rate was 8.6% and included skin necrosis (5.9%), infection (3.0%), implant loss (2.9%), seroma (1.1%), and hematoma (0.9%). Reoperative rate in breasts with complications was 3.2%. Age 50 years or older, smoking, nonnipple-sparing mastectomy, and implant size of 600 mL or greater strongly predicted the development of complications (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Our cumulative 13-year experience demonstrates that immediate, ADM-assisted, direct-to-implant breast reconstruction is safe, effective, and reliable. Complication and reoperation rates are less than 10% and are comparable to those reported for 2-stage procedures in the published literature.

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