Tissue Expander-Based Breast Reconstruction in the Prepectoral Versus Subpectoral Plane: An Analysis of Short-Term Outcomes

Franca Kraenzlin, Halley Darrach, Nima Khavanin, George Kokosis, Oluseyi Aliu, Kristen Broderick, Gedge D. Rosson, Michele A. Manahan, Justin M. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background Breast reconstruction is becoming an increasingly important and accessible component of breast cancer care. We hypothesize that prepectoral patients benefit from lower short-term complications and shorter periods to second-stage reconstruction compared with individuals receiving reconstruction in the subpectoral plane. Methods An institutional review board-approved retrospective review of all adult postmastectomy patients receiving tissue expanders (TEs) was completed for a 21-month period (n = 286). Results A total of 286 patients underwent mastectomy followed by TE placement, with 59.1% receiving prepectoral TEs and 40.9% receiving subpectoral TEs. Participants receiving prepectoral TEs required fewer clinic visits before definitive reconstruction (6.4 vs 8.8, P <0.01) and underwent definitive reconstruction 71.6 days earlier than individuals with subpectoral TE placement (170.8 vs 242.4 days, P < 0.01). Anesthesia time was significantly less for prepectoral TE placement, whether bilateral (68.0 less minutes, P < 0.01) or unilateral (20.7 minutes less, P < 0.01). Operating room charges were higher in the prepectoral subgroup ($31,276.8 vs $22,231.8, P < 0.01). Partial necrosis rates were higher in the prepectoral group (21.7% vs 10.9%, P < 0.01). Conclusions Patients undergoing breast reconstruction using prepectoral TE-based reconstruction benefit from less anesthesia time, fewer postoprative clinic visits, and shorter time to definitive reconstruction, at the compromise of higher operating room charges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • expander based breast reconstruction
  • prepectoral tissue expander
  • subpectoral tissue expander


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