We present our experience in using a disposable wound retractor commonly used in abdominal surgery named Alexis(®) (Applied Medical Resources Corporation, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, USA), during breast augmentation in order to improve outcomes, particularly final scar length.
Between January 2010 and November 2012, 40 patients undergoing breast augmentation with an ... [Show full abstract] inframammary approach were enrolled in the present study. Patients were randomly assigned to two groups: group 1 underwent breast augmentation with the standard technique; group 2 underwent breast augmentation by using the Alexis(®) (Applied Medical Resources Corporation) device. Patients were followed-up for a 12-month period. The time of surgery, the days of drain duration and the length of the incisions were recorded for both groups and statistical significance was evaluated with the Wilcoxon rank sum test. Also, final scar appearance was evaluated using a visual analogue scale (VAS).
Patients in group 2 reported a lower incidence of hematomas and had shorter drain duration. The difference in scar length between the two groups was statistically significant (P<0.05). Surgeons and patients were mostly satisfied with the final appearance of the scar.
The use of the Alexis(®) (Applied Medical Resources Corporation) device has proven useful in reducing the length of the inframammary incision. Interestingly, the increased visibility obtained with the use of the Alexis device allowed a better hemostasis, as suggested by the shorter drain duration and lower incidence of hematomas. However, its use prolongs the operative time, for which we recommend surgeons to allow themselves some time to become familiar with the device.
Level of evidence:
level I, evidence obtained from at least one properly designed randomized controlled trial.