BACKGROUND: Acellular dermal matrix is a commonly used adjunct in implant-based breast reconstruction. Several investigations have shown increased complications associated with its use. Therefore, the authors' institution placed strict limitations on its use and transitioned to sterile "ready-to-use" acellular dermal matrix. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the infectious complications associated with aseptic versus sterile acellular dermal matrix. METHODS: A prospective study of all patients undergoing immediate implant-based breast reconstruction at a single academic medical center between November of 2010 and October of 2012 was conducted. AlloDerm (Life Cell Corporation, Branchburg, N.J.) was used as the source of acellular dermal matrix. Breasts were divided into three cohorts: total submuscular coverage, aseptic acellular dermal matrix, and sterile, ready-to-use acellular dermal matrix. Breasts were then compared based on demographic information, cancer qualities, and complications. RESULTS: A total of 546 reconstructed breasts met inclusion criteria: 64.3 percent (n = 351) with no acellular dermal matrix, 16.5 percent (n = 90) with aseptic matrix, and 19.2 percent (n = 105) with ready-to-use matrix. When comparing reconstructions with ready-to-use versus aseptic acellular dermal matrix, patients had a decrease in overall infection (8.5 percent versus 20.0 percent; p = 0.0088), major infection (4.7 percent versus 12.2 percent; p = 0.069), and need for explantation (1.9 percent versus 6.6 percent; p = 0.1470). When comparing patients undergoing reconstruction with ready-to-use matrix to total submuscular coverage, patients had similar overall infectious complications (8.5 percent versus 5.7 percent; p = 0.3602). Diabetes mellitus, seroma, mastectomy skin flap necrosis, and aseptic acellular dermal matrix were independent predictors of infectious complications. CONCLUSIONS: Ready-to-use acellular dermal matrix in immediate implant-based breast reconstruction provides a useful adjunct. In addition, it mitigates the risks of infectious complications when compared with aseptic acellular dermal matrix.
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