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Economic Analysis and Review of the Literature on Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction With and Without the Use of the Acellular Dermal Matrix

Abstract

Background

Use of the acellular dermal matrix (ADM) in two-stage implant-based breast reconstruction has been widely adopted. Despite an increasing focus on health care costs, few reports have addressed the financial implications of ADM use. This study sought to examine the costs of the two-stage technique with and without ADM, concentrating on the direct variable costs of patient care during the expansion process.

Methods

A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database was conducted. Data were collected on 132 cases resulting in a second-stage exchange for a permanent implant. The findings showed that AlloDerm was used in 61 reconstructions and Strattice in 23 reconstructions. The primary outcome was the number of fills required to achieve the final expander fill volume. The cost of subsequent patient encounters for expansion was estimated using institutional cost data.

Results

The number of fills required to achieve the final volume was higher in the non-ADM group (6.5 ± 1.7) than in the ADM group (3.6 ± 1.4) (p < 0.0001). No significant difference was found in the small fill volumes (<350 ml; 5.3 vs. 3.7; p > 0.05). The difference was significant in the larger fill volumes (>500 ml; 8.3 vs. 3.7; p < 0.05). Relative to non-ADM reconstruction, with AlloDerm at current prices, the cost increase ranged from $2,727.75 for large reconstructions to $3,290.25 for small reconstructions ($2,167.75–$2,739.25 with Strattice).

Conclusion

The use of ADM in two-stage reconstruction reduces the number of visits required for reconstructions with 350 ml or more. However, at current pricings, the direct cost of ADM use does not offset the cost savings from the reduced number of visits.

Level of Evidence IV

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Acknowledgments

This study was conducted with an unrestricted educational grant from LifeCell Corporation. The senior author was a paid consultant for LifeCell.

Conflicts of interest

The remaining authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Correspondence to David H. Song.

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Bank, J., Phillips, N.A., Park, J.E. et al. Economic Analysis and Review of the Literature on Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction With and Without the Use of the Acellular Dermal Matrix. Aesth Plast Surg 37, 1194–1201 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00266-013-0213-2

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Keywords

  • Economics
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Acellular dermal matrix