Explantation of breast implants has become increasingly common. This study aimed to analyze breast auto-augmentation following implant explantation (using a laterally designed anterior intercostal artery perforator [AICAP] flap) in patients who did not need new implants and required volume preservation.
Twenty-four patients (48 breasts) aged 31–67 years (mean, 52.4 years) with body mass index (BMI) between 24.43 and 29.34 (mean, 27.32) kg/m2 underwent this procedure. All patients had implant-related problems, such as recurrent capsular contracture (n=11), seroma (n=2), animation deformity (n=3), rupture-induced bleeding (n=5), and breast implant disease (n=3). Sizes of implants removed ranged from 215 to 355 ml. The mean flap size was 23.9 cm × 7.5 cm, and the average flap thickness was 2.3 cm (range, 2.0–3.2 cm).
Flap survival was clinically examined postoperatively by ultrasonography. Pre- and postoperative final breast volumes were compared by direct patient observation and independent photograph observation by three plastic surgeons according to a 4-point scale (bad=1, regular=2, good=3, and excellent=4) and the brassiere size. All flaps were completely viable after harvesting. No postoperative signs of fat necrosis were observed, and independent plastic surgeon evaluation revealed good and excellent results in all cases.
Patient satisfaction evaluated by BREAST-Q data was >90%. This new design, AICAP flap (with a lateral thoracic extension), can be safely used for breast volume restitution after breast implant explantation with high patient satisfaction. This flap exhibited reasonable potential of providing additional volume in patients who undergo implant explantation and require the preservation of similar volume.
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