Ideally, every breast surgery would produce the desired outcomes with no complications. However, a reality of surgery is there is always the risk of complications, even when the surgeon performs a textbook-perfect procedure using excellent technique.
On the rare occasion that a breast surgery complication does arise — for example, an implant ripples or capsular contracture develops — Dr. Ary Krau can perform revision breast surgery. One of the tools he uses in complex or tricky breast revision cases is a biomaterial called acellular dermal matrix.
What Is Acellular Dermal Matrix?
Think of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) as “scaffolding” for the breast tissue. It is a lattice-like skin graft from which the cells have been removed. ADM is placed within the breast to support the natural tissue; over time, your own cells grow into the framework and gradually your tissue replaces the graft. This provides a thicker and stronger layer of tissue than what would have developed without the ADM. Your blood vessels also grow into the material so it has its own blood supply.
Once placed, you cannot feel ADM. It takes about six months for the body to absorb the material.
Studies have shown excellent revision breast surgery outcomes with ADM. While it is almost always used in breast revision operations, it may occasionally be used in primary breast surgery, if Dr. Krau deems it medically appropriate.
“Making the Unsolvable Solvable”
ADM affords Dr. Krau the opportunity to treat complex complications and deliver beautiful outcomes in cases that would otherwise be unsolvable. Here are a few examples of how Dr. Krau uses ADM:
Correct Implant Position
If a patient has a large, loose implant capsule, this may cause the implants to sit too low/too far apart or shift out to the side. Dr. Krau can use ADM to redefine the implant capsule, making it tighter. This secures the implant in the right position.
Treat Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture is a condition in which the breasts become hard, deformed and uncomfortable. The implant capsule is essentially too tight, squeezing the implant and causing it to contract and distort. By placing ADM along the bottom edge of the chest muscle and in the crease underneath the breast, Dr. Krau prevents the capsule from hardening around the implant.
Manage Implant Rippling
ADM can be used to disguise implant rippling (more common in saline implants) in patients with thin skin. The graft is placed over the implant to add more of a barrier between the implant and the skin.
In case you would like to do more research on ADM, Dr. Krau prefers to use the Strattice and AlloDerm brands.