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.
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Tissue matrix during surgery
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
- 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
- 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.