Single-Stage Direct-to-Implant Breast Reconstruction: A Comparison between Subpectoral Versus Prepectoral Implant Placement

Oscar J. Manrique, Trishul Kapoor, Joseph Banuelos, Steven R. Jacobson, Jorys Martinez-Jorge, Minh Doan T. Nguyen, Nho V. Tran, Christin A. Harless, Amy C. Degnim, James W. Jakub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Single-stage direct-to-implant (DTI) breast reconstruction can offer several potential benefits. Subpectoral DTI reconstruction can present with animation deformity and pectoralis muscle spasm. To potentially avoid these complications, surgeons have attempted prepectoral placement for DTI; however, the benefits of this approach are mostly unknown. We evaluated the outcomes of DTI between prepectoral and subpectoral placement. Methods: This was a retrospective review of patients who underwent immediate DTI breast reconstruction (prepectoral vs subpectoral) between 2011 and 2018. Demographics, clinical characteristics, complications, and patient-reported outcomes (BREAST-Q) were compared. Results: Thirty-three patients (55 breasts) underwent prepectoral DTI, and 42 patients (69 breasts) underwent subpectoral DTI. Demographics were similar among groups. The number of breasts with preoperative ptosis lower than grade 2 was not significantly different between groups (29.1% vs 26.1%; P = 0.699). Median follow-up was 20.3 and 21 months in the prepectoral and subpectoral groups, respectively. Average mastectomy weight was 300 g (180-425 g) and 355 g (203-500 g). Average implant size was 410 cc (330-465 cc) and 425 cc (315-534 cc) in the prepectoral and subpectoral groups, respectively. Alloderm was used in all reconstructions. Total numbers of complications were 4 (7.2%) and 8 (11.6%) in the prepectoral and subpectoral groups, respectively (P = 0.227). BREAST-Q demonstrated mean patient satisfaction was high and similar among groups (75 and 73.9, P = 0.211). Conclusions: Based on these results, we believe prepectoral DTI is safe, reliable, and a promising reconstructive option for selected patients, with equivalent results to other reconstructive options. Our present treatment recommendations are for patients who wish to maintain the same breast size and have minimal or no breast ptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • complications
  • direct to implant
  • implant-based breast reconstruction
  • outcomes
  • prepectoral
  • subpectoral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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