Background: The AeroForm tissue expander is a carbon dioxide-filled breast tissue expander that allows gradual, needle-free expansion using a hand-held remote controller. This study evaluates 2-stage, prepectoral tissue expander-to-implant breast reconstruction with the carbon-dioxide tissue expanders and compares the outcomes to our recent experience with saline tissue expanders. Methods: This was a retrospective study of consecutive patients from a single institution. The subjects consisted of women who underwent mastectomy and either immediate or delayed breast reconstruction with AeroForm or saline tissue expanders. Outcomes encompassed postoperative complications including mastectomy flap necrosis, infection requiring readmission and/or intravenous antibiotics, capsular contracture, hematoma, seroma, skin dehiscence, extrusion, premature explant, and loss of communication with the device (AeroForm) or rupture of the device (saline). Results: This study evaluated 115 patients with 185 breast reconstructions. Of the 185 breast reconstructions, 74 (40%) utilized AeroForm tissue expanders and 111 (60%) utilized traditional saline tissue expanders. Treatment was successful in 100% and 94% in the AeroForm and saline groups, respectively (P = 0.025). The incidence of adverse events was greater in the saline group (45.9% versus 32.4%). Surgical-site infection occurred more commonly in the saline group (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%). Conclusions: The use of AeroForm tissue expanders offers notable advantages for breast reconstruction. This device when employed in the prepectoral space may be associated with reduced infection rates and decreased utilization of healthcare and patient resources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas