Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 892–901 | Cite as

A Meta-analysis of Postoperative Complications of Tissue Expander/Implant Breast Reconstruction Using Acellular Dermal Matrix

  • Xiangyi Zhao
  • Xiaowei Wu
  • Jie Dong
  • Yingying Liu
  • Liang Zheng
  • Liming Zhang
Original Article Breast



Acellular dermal matrix (ADM) is commonly used for tissue expander/implant breast (TE/I-based) reconstruction. But the relation between ADM and postoperative complications remains controversial. A few meta-analyses were conducted in 2011–2012 and the result revealed that ADM can increase the risk of complications. The purpose of our study is to offer updated evidence for ADM clinical application by analyzing the effect of ADM on complications of TE/I-based breast reconstruction.


The literature published from January 2010 to February 2015 was searched in EMbase, Medline, Science Direct, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), CBMdisc, CNKI, VIP, and the references of those included studies were also searched by hand. According to inclusive criteria, 11 studies were selected and the values were extracted from the included literature. Complications with four different categories assigned for overall complications, infection, hematoma/seroma, and explantation were collected. RevMan 5.1 was used for meta-analysis. The evidence level was assessed by using the GRADE system.


Eleven published studies were included. The results showed that compared to the control group, the ADM group increased the rate of overall complications (OR = 1.33, 95 % CI 1.03–1.70, p = 0.03), infection (OR = 1.47, 95 % CI 1.04–2.06, p = 0.03), hematoma/seroma (OR = 1.66, 95 % CI 1.13–2.44, p = 0.01), but there was no significant difference in explantation (OR = 1.37, 95 % CI 0.89–2.11, p = 0.15). Based on the GRADE system, all the evidence was at level C and weak recommendation.


In TE/I-based breast reconstruction, ADM increased the incidence of overall complications, infection, and hematoma/seroma; the incidence of explantation remains unknown. For the poor quality of the original studies, a prudent choice is suggested; and more high-quality, large-sample studies are needed.

No Level Assigned

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each submission to which Evidence-Based Medicine rankings are applicable. This excludes Review Articles, Book Reviews, and manuscripts that concern Basic Science, Animal Studies, Cadaver Studies, and Experimental Studies. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors


Breast reconstruction Acellular dermal matrix Meta-analysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiangyi Zhao
    • 1
  • Xiaowei Wu
    • 1
  • Jie Dong
    • 1
  • Yingying Liu
    • 1
  • Liang Zheng
    • 1
  • Liming Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plastic SurgeryRenmin Hospital of Wuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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