A comparative analysis between subpectoral versus prepectoral single stage direct-to-implant breast reconstruction

Jeong Hoon Kim, Seung Eun Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background and objectives: Until now subpectoral breast reconstruction (SBR) has been the predominant form; however, it can present with pectoralis muscle contraction and animation deformity. To avoid these complications, surgeons have begun placing breast implants in the same anatomic space as the breast tissue that was removed. We report a comparative analysis of prepectoral breast reconstruction (PBR) versus subpectoral breast reconstruction to analyze their differences. Materials and Methods: Direct-to-implant (DTI) reconstruction using acellular dermal matrix (ADM) performed from February 2015 to February 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. We then compared the clinical course and postoperative outcomes of the two groups (prepectoral vs. subpectoral) based on the overall incidence of complications, pain scale, and the duration of drainage. Results: A total of 167 patients underwent unilateral DTI, with SBR 114 (68.3%) and PBR 53 (31.7%). Patient demographics were similar between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference in rates of seroma, infection (requiring intravenous antibiotics), hematoma, and skin necrosis. Implant loss rates in the SBR 6.1% (n = 7) and PBR 9.4% (n = 5) were also not statistically significant (p = 0.99). The hemovac duration period was significantly longer in the SBR (14.93 ± 5.57 days) group than in the PBR group (11.09 ± 4.82 days) (p < 0.01). However, postoperative pain scores are similar between two groups, although it is not clear whether this was due to the effect of postoperative patient-controlled analgesia. Conclusions: A SBR is a commonly used procedure with various advantages, but there are many problems due to damage to the normal pectoralis major muscle. According to the results of our study, the PBR group had a shorter hemovac duration period compared to the SBR group, although there was no significant difference in complication rate. A PBR is a simple and safe technique allowing early discharge without increasing the incidence of long-term complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number537
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Acellular dermal matrix
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Prepectoral
  • Subpectoral


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