The incidence of breast cancer and immediate breast reconstruction is on the rise particularly in the US and Western Europe. Over the last decade, implant based breast reconstructions have gained popularity. The prepectoral breast reconstruction has emerged as a novel technique, minimally invasive, preserves the chest wall anatomy while restoring body image. However, implant rippling appears to be an adverse effect associated with this technique.
We have described a new grading system for rippling following prepectoral implant breast reconstruction and discussed its management. We then evaluated the new grading system in our practice.
We looked at the first 50 consecutive patients who underwent prepectoral implant based breast reconstruction. In our experience, 45 patients (90%) had grade 1, 3 patients (6%) had grade 2, 1 patient (2%) had grade 3 and 1 patient (2%) had grade 4 rippling. The observed rippling was seen more often in patients with low BMI<20 and in those who had poor subcutaneous fat preoperatively (pinch test<2 cm).
Prepectoral implant based breast reconstruction adds a whole new dimension to breast reconstruction. However rippling can be an undesired adverse effect associated with this technique and patients need to be informed.