The use of AeroForm tissue expanders offers notable advantages for breast reconstruction, suggests a study published recently in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open.

When employed in the prepectoral space, the AeroForm device may be associated with reduced infection rates and decreased utilization of healthcare and patient resources, the study further suggests, according to a media release from AirXpanders Inc, manufacturer of the AeroForm.

This study, reportedly the first of its kind to report on a novel breast expander technology combined with a newer reconstructive technique, is a retrospective analysis evaluating 115 patients with 185 breast reconstructions in a single institution.

Of these breast reconstructions, 74 (40%) utilized the AeroForm Tissue Expander, and 111 (60%) utilized traditional saline expanders.  Key findings in the paper included:

  • The incidence of adverse events was greater in the saline group as compared to AeroForm (45.9% versus 32.4%)
  • Post-operative wound infection was significantly more common in the saline group as compared with AeroForm (5.4% versus 0%)
  • Full-thickness skin necrosis occurred at a significantly higher rate in the saline cohort as compared with AeroForm (5.4% versus 0%)
  • The AeroForm cohort showed reduced time to expand versus saline (an average of 45 days versus 87 days) and reduced time to reconstruction (an average of 94 days versus 143)

“The clinical benefits we have noted include the ability to expand gradually in less time, elimination of the risk of iatrogenic introduction of bacteria into the implant pocket, elimination of the chance for iatrogenic rupture during needlesticks, and the ability of the patient to expand at their own rate depending on the patient’s level of comfort,” the authors note, in the release.

“The benefits from a patient care perspective include less burden on the patient for clinic visitation and decreased utilization of healthcare resources during the fill process. Moreover, this expands the ability for breast centers to care for more patients since the time scheduled for expansions is eliminated and patients who live farther away require fewer visits for expansion.”

“These finding support the many advantages of the AeroForm System,” states Frank Grillo, president and CEO of AirXpanders Inc, the release continues.

“The data suggests that reducing multiple needlesticks may be a contributing factor in reducing rates of infection and the consistent weight of the gas-filled AeroForm Expander may explain the reduced necrosis rates. This is significant for both the hospital and patient in terms of readmission costs and quality of care.”

[Source(s): AirXpanders, PR Newswire]