A New Approach: Pre-Pectoral Breast Reconstruction

Pre-pectoral breast reconstruction is an alternative approach to traditional breast reconstruction, where the implants are placed over the muscle instead of underneath it.

Prepectoral breast reconstruction resultsPre-pectoral breast reconstruction has been made possible in large part by the use of biological mesh products (called acellular dermal matrices) that can substitute for muscle to cover, protect, and support a patient’s implants.

According to a recent article in The New York Times:

“Placing breast implants under the chest muscle, a procedure called post-pectoralis or sub-muscular placement, has been the standard approach to implant breast reconstruction for decades. But now some surgeons are placing the implants on top of the muscle, in an effort to reduce complications like pain, weakness and breast deformities that can occur with sub-muscular implants when the chest muscles are flexed.”

The article goes on to interview Dr. Sbitany, an associate professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at UC San Francisco and a consultant for Allergan, a manufacturer of the mesh products:

“Dr. Sbitany said that since he started talking about the new option, known as prepectoral breast reconstruction, he has been besieged by patients who have had submuscular implants for five, 10 or 15 years and want the reconstruction done over. Artificial breast implants are the most common method of breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

When patients want them replaced, Dr. Sbitany said, he removes the old implants, places the pectoralis major muscle back down where it used to be and inserts new implants on top of the muscle, using biological mesh to cover and support them under the skin.

‘There is no question that putting the implant below the muscle causes increased rates of pain and chronic discomfort with any physical activity — not in every woman, but in a consistent number of patients,’ said Dr. Sbitany.”

Washington, DC Area Pre-Pectoral Breast Reconstruction 

The physicians at Bruno|Brown Plastic Surgery are a part of a forward-thinking movement that challenges the traditional under-the-muscle technique. While there are many patients who still benefit from this traditional method, the number of patients eligible for pre-pectoral breast reconstruction is growing.

Dr. Brown and Dr. Bruno routinely lecture nationwide on this technique and take part in educational labs in teaching plastic surgeon colleagues.

Benefits of Pre-Pectoral Breast Reconstruction Include:

  • No muscle fatigue or chronic pain
  • No muscle animation or pull on skin
  • Quicker recovery, less pain, less downtime

Candidates for Pre-Pectoral Breast Reconstruction Include:

  • Patients undergoing mastectomy
    Previously reconstructed patients
    Active patients

The pre-pectoral breast reconstruction procedure may not be the best fit for all patients, so make sure you discuss your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Contact us today to set up your consultation.