I just finished the expansion process for breast reconstruction after a prophylactic mastectomy and stopped at 425cc. After the 350cc fill the left breast developed a line across the center, which is from the alloderm. Is that normal? Will it go away, and if so, how long does it usually take? I have 11 more weeks until the implant exchange and hope it's gone by then.
Alloderm Line Across Breast After Reconstruction- Normal? Permanent?
Doctor Answers (5)
Visible line from Alloderm.
It is difficult to say without an exam that what you are describing is attributable to the underlying Alloderm. If it is, simple capsulotomies through the Alloderm may release any "bands" at the time of exchange. If you are seeing an area of tightness or deformity from the underlying Alloderm, your mastectomy flaps are probably quite thin. Fat grafting may improve these contour deformities post-exchange.
Line appearance on breast reconstruction with AlloDerm
What you are describing is likely the transition zone from your AlloDerm and your pectoralis muscle. Your skin is likely very thin from your mastectomy and the expansion process. I have seen this on a very rare occasion. Over time, the fullness or "line" you describe does get better b/c the muscle at the transition zone likely atrophies. Best of luck.
Alloderm is relatively tough and the line won't resolve on its own
The problem you are describing is possibly due to the Alloderm, however without pictures and more detail I can't say more about it. If it is Alloderm, then this is something that can be addressed and corrected at the time of your implant exchange procedure.
martin Jugenburg, MD
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You may be seeing demarcation line at the border of the muscle and alloderm. It is more likely the muscle. It is difficult to say whether it will get better or not.
ADM pectoralis muscle interface may become apparent with expansion
What you are describing may well be the line of demarcation formed by the junction of the ADM (Alloderm in your case) and the pectoralis major muscle. The underlying cause for this is that the pectoralis muscle (which lies along the upper part of the breast) is elastic and is able to stretch, while the ADM which lies below is inelastic. The line usually only becomes apparent on inflation of the expander. This can be addressed at the time of your second stage surgery. Your surgeon should be able to take care of this for you.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.