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The Efficacy of Artecoll Injections for the Augmentation of Nipple Projection in Breast Reconstruction

Open Science Company, LLC
Publication Date
  • Journal Article
  • Medicine


Introduction: Various techniques have been used in an attempt to achieve long-term nipple projection following nipple-areolar reconstruction. A common setback, however, is the diminution of projection overtime; this phenomenon is particularly evident following implant-based breast reconstruction. Artecoll may be suitable for injection into the nipple complex to maintain permanent, 3-dimensional projection. Artecoll is an injectable substance that is biocompatible and immunologically inert and resists degradation in vivo. The purpose of this study was thus to prospectively evaluate the efficacy of Artecoll (polymethylmethacrylate microspheres suspended in 3.5% denatured bovine collagen with 0.3% lidocaine) in obtaining and maintaining nipple projection following postmastectomy, nipple-areolar reconstruction. Methods: A prospective, clinical trial was performed. Consecutive patients deemed to have inadequate nipple projection at least 6 months following “C-V flap” or “modified-skate flap” reconstruction were identified. Only women who had postmastectomy reconstruction with tissue expanders and implants were considered eligible for participation. Artecoll was injected under the nipple at 2 time points: baseline and 3 months. Calipers were used to measure nipple projection preinjection and postinjection at baseline, 3, 6, and 9 months. Results: Thirty-three nipples were injected in 23 patients. There were no adverse events. Prior to injection, mean nipple projection was 1.33 ± 1.0 mm. The mean increase in projection over the 9-month study period was both clinically and statistically significant (1.60 ± 1.24 mm; P <.001). A history of prior irradiation was a significant negative predictor of final nipple projection (P = .012). Conclusion: Artecoll injection is both feasible and effective in increasing and maintaining nipple projection in the setting of implant-based breast reconstruction.

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