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Tissue Matrix

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Tissue Matrix

A tissue matrix (such as AlloDerm® Regenerative Tissue Matrix) can be used during breast reconstruction to supplement a woman's own tissues, providing support for weakened tissue along the lower portion of the breast pocket.

The use of a tissue matrix has increased the options for breast implant reconstruction and may carry several advantages over other described techniques such as Full Muscle Coverage and Partial Muscle Coverage. A tissue matrix can be derived from animal tissue or human tissue and is designed to perform in a similar way to your own tissue.

In this technique employing a tissue matrix, the pectoralis major muscle covers the top part of the breast pocket, while the tissue matrix supports the tissue along the lower portion of the breast pocket.

Click the images below to enlarge

Preoperative markings

Preoperative markings

Tissue matrix transfer during surgery

Tissue matrix during surgery

Postoperative appearance

Postoperative appearance

In addition to the potential advantages and disadvantages listed in the Breast Implant Reconstruction page, some other potential advantages and disadvantages of a tissue matrix are also outlined here.

Potential Advantages | Potential Disadvantages

Potential Advantages

  • Helps the surgeon to reinforce and define the lateral mammary and inframammary folds
  • Eliminates the need for the surgeon to manipulate additional muscles
  • Connects the muscle to the chest wall, which may help prevent pulling of the muscle
  • Provides surgeon with additional tissue to work with if your muscle(s) has been damaged during mastectomy or radiation therapy
  • Provides the surgeon with a larger and more elastic breast pocket
  • Helps the surgeon enable a single-stage breast reconstruction by reinforcing existing tissue

Potential Disadvantages

  • Risk of rejection by the body
  • Risk of allergic or other immune response
  • Tissue matrix failure

The biological tissue matrix most widely used by surgeons in breast reconstruction is AlloDerm Regenerative Tissue Matrix, from LifeCell™ Corporation1.

1 Millennium Research Group. October 2010.

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