Alloderm Complications

What complications do you see most often from using Alloderm for breast reconstruction?

Doctor Answers 7

Alloderm in the breast

I have been using Alloderm in the breast for both reconstruction and secondary breast augmentation corrections for 15 years, It is a very useful dermal matrix product. I use it primarily in my breast reconstructions as it is quite expensive ,but usually the costs are covered by insurance companies. Alloderm becomes incorporated into your own tissues if it is placed into a proper environment. If the mastectomy flaps are created with great care and there is adequate good supply, the alloderm will become nicely incorporated into your own body. I have had very few infections or complications with alloderm and I use it almost weekly in my practice.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Alloderm complications and removal

Alloderm can lead to rejection and careful attention to your overlying skin may help determine how well the alloderm has integrated into your tissue. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Alloderm on the face

I tried Alloderm years ago in the lips when it was first introduced. It is absorbed and disappears too soon. It can also create a feeling of tightness in the lips. To overcome the problems the company ground it up and called it Cymetra. That was injectable Alloderm. Ever heard of it? No, because it does not work either. I like to use cumulative fat placement to create a natural lip.

James Apesos, MD
Dayton Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Alloderm can get infected or seroma can form

AlloDerm is essentially cadaver skin minus any living cells.  It is used as a scaffold through which a persons living cells can grow into.  It has many uses, but, in use his in breast reconstruction.  AlloDerm does not help in mastectomy recovery.  It does however help in breast reconstruction. In this application, AlloDerm was used to cover the lower portion of an implant that spans from the lower border of the pectoralis muscle to the breast fold.  Because AlloDerm is a foreign substance in can always get infected and as such your doctor and you need to pay close attention to the signs and symptoms.  AlloDerm has also been used in nipple augmentation as well as augmentation of other body parts.  Its efficacy is really not known in these realms because it is not common.  Some providers may use AlloDerm for these applications but please note that its most widespread use is particularly in breast reconstruction as well as repair for abdominal wall hernias.  Please speak with a board certified plastic surgeon if you have any specific concerns regarding your care.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Alloderm complications

The most common complications seen with Alloderm or any acellular dermal matrix is ,seroma , redness infection and,disruption due to poor vascular ingrowth.

These complications are increased in patients who are overweight, diabetic, smokers had radiation,and with larger and thicker sheets of acellular dermal matrix

Although complications are relatively low, these factors should be considered

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Alloderm has a low complication rate

I have used Alloderm for many years in many patients and have never removed the product due to infection.  I have heard colleagues remove Alloderm in cases of  infection in breast reconstruction, and I would possibly attribute this due to precarious blood supply resulting in poor tissue perfusion.  In a single patient out of hundreds that I have used Alloderm for lip augmentation, I removed the graft after 2 or 3 days due to patient anxiety.  Possible complications are the same as in any surgical procedure such as infection either immediate or delayed, visible scars ( I have never had patients complain of scars placed at the corners of the mouth), extrusion, and hardness.  Some patients have complained that the Alloderm had completely reabsorbed, but on examination the alloderm was still present, and the patient needed a second application, which is always explained as a possibility before the Alloderm is placed.

Daniel Shapiro, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Breast reconstruction with Alloderm

The most common problem I have observed is persistent drainage and redness of the overlying skin which appears inflamed. Other than that, it has accomplished excellent results.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

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.