Breast Reconstruction Using a Three-Dimensional Absorbable Mesh Scaffold and Autologous Fat Grafting: A Composite Strategy Based on Tissue-Engineering Principles

Robert D. Rehnke, M. Asher Schusterman, John M. Clarke, Brent C. Price, Uzma Waheed, Richard E. Debski, Stephen F. Badylak, J. Peter Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Breast reconstruction remains an important field in plastic surgery, with most procedures using implants and/or autologous tissue. Few series report on experience with fat grafting as the primary form of breast reconstruction. The present article describes a new method of breast reconstruction using a three-dimensional absorbable mesh construct - or Lotus scaffold - and autologous fat grafting. A retrospective review was performed for all patients who underwent breast reconstruction using the Lotus scaffold and autologous fat grafting. Postoperative mammograms and magnetic resonance imaging scans were analyzed. Tissue specimens collected at subsequent procedures were harvested and stained with hematoxylin and eosin for histologic evaluation. Lastly, compression testing of the scaffold was performed using a tensiometer and digital tracking technology. Twenty-two patients underwent reconstruction of 28 breasts using the Lotus scaffold and autologous fat grafting between February of 2015 and February of 2018. Average follow-up was 19 months. All patients were satisfied with final breast shape and size. Mean patient age was 60.5 years and the average body mass index was 28 kg/m2. Patients required on average two fat grafting sessions to achieve a successful result (range, zero to four). Postoperative mammography and magnetic resonance imaging showed robust adipose tissue in the breast with a slowly resorbing mesh and no oil cysts or calcifications. Histologic evaluation showed the presence of fat tissue around the scaffold and no evidence of capsule formation. Compression testing revealed the Lotus scaffold to be compliant with a high-resilience profile. The Lotus scaffold with autologous fat grafting is a viable method for breast reconstruction, giving the patient an autologous reconstruction with less morbidity compared to free tissue transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409E-413E
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Volume146
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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