Article Abstract

Strategies and considerations in selecting between subpectoral and prepectoral breast reconstruction

Authors: Ara A. Salibian, Jordan D. Frey, Nolan S. Karp


Implant-based breast reconstruction has evolved through advances in mastectomy and reconstruction techniques to offer excellent outcomes with both prepectoral and subpectoral implant placement. Proper patient selection and surgical technique are key for optimizing outcomes and minimizing complications regardless of implant location. Therefore, familiarity with the benefits and limitations of each technique is vital. Several patient characteristics, such as history of significant comorbidities, radiation or active smoking, portend higher risk of complications with prepectoral reconstruction, in which case subpectoral implant placement may be a safer option. Oncologic consideration such as location and size of tumors also play an important role in determining the appropriate technique. The most critical factor in the success of prepectoral reconstruction is the quality of mastectomy flaps. Thorough intraoperative evaluation of mastectomy flap perfusion and viability will determine whether immediate prepectoral reconstruction is possible or other alternatives such as subpectoral or delayed prepectoral techniques should be considered. Discussing these factors with patients preemptively as well as developing a coordinated plan with the patient and oncologic surgeon will maximize success in both subpectoral and prepectoral implant-based reconstruction.