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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: Has anyone had a reaction to alloderm?

Topic: Has anyone had a reaction to alloderm?

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Feb 20, 2010 07:43AM

chris14 wrote:

Hi, I had a double mastectomy 12 days ago and they started reconstruction with spacers and Alloderm used to support them...I have a ton of redness and inflammation at the site of the Alloderm "hammock" and it hurts quite badly. My doctors have me on antibiotics and I have an appointment with an infectious disease specialist Monday. They think it's either infection or a reaction to the alloderm...just curious if anyone else has been through this. They said that if it gets worse, 15% of patients end up having to have everything removed until later to allow the inflammation to calm down.

Thanks!...I'm new to this so I hope I posted correctly :)

Dx 1/16/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/14 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx Stage IV, 4/14 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 20, 2010 08:25AM samiam wrote:

After my BMX and reconstruction, I had an infection on one side that we could not clear with ABX. It manifested itself with redness, warmth, and a slight fever.   I had to have the TE removed and waited 7 months for healing for a replacement.  The Alloderm was infected and had to be removed as well.  We have no idea if the Alloderm was a cause for the infection or if it just became infected along with my skin and TE.

I had a second infection scare at replacement time, but this time the heavy duty antibiotics cleared it. We used IV antibiotics for 6 weeks plus an oral one.    We are not sure there was really any infection that time, but no one was taking any chances. I had my exchange and nipple surgery in January and all is going well. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Do you have the redness and imflammation on both sides or just one?  Most people who have an "infection" seem to have it on one side.  If it is both, I might suspect some sort of imflammatory reaction.

There are a couple of threads under the Breast Reconstruction Forum (Look for Infection in the thread titles) that are discussing this topic also.  Unfortunately this is more common than we would like.  Best of luck to you!

Dx 7/1/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 20, 2010 09:15AM REKoz wrote:

I am so sorry you are having difficulties. I had an infection on both sides after my bmx. No one ever brought up being allergic to alloderm to me. My Onc. took one look at me (after I had seen my now fired PS) and put me on 14 days IV Vancomyicin. It did the trick and I did not have to have the expanders removed. From what I understand, the faster they put you on Abx, the better chance you have of not losing them. Do you have a temp?  My feeling is that you need to get your PS to put you on the big guns abx asap.

BMX 11/08, Abraxane/Carbo/x4 1/09 Herceptin until 1/10, Recon w expanders-1st exchange Dec. 09. Revision from 700 Style 20 to 600 Style 45-Oct 10 Dx 10/16/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Feb 20, 2010 11:34AM iHEARTu wrote:

Sorry this is happening!

Someone had asked about this on another forum and hadn't heard about Alloderm or what it was made of for that matter!! Then on Friday I noticed something different on one of my incisions sites and decided to going for the PS for them to take a look. The first thing the nurse asked was, "I see we used Alloderm on you'?, and my heart just sunk. They didn't see any signs if infection but I have to go back in on Monday to make sure. AlloDerm is a dermal graft/implant material made from donated skin!!!!!

The moral of all these stories is ASK QUESTIONS! I was SHOCKED they used this. Not that I don't trust my PS, and I believe this product is the common practice, but it would have been nice to know this...but then again, did I...UGH..so much to know.


DCIS 10cm+ / grade 3 / bi-lat mx 1.5.2010
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Feb 20, 2010 01:50PM Sassa wrote:

Alloderm is a skin matrix.  It is made from cadaver skin (with permission of the deceased or the family, a lot of material is harvested from a body to be processed and reused - bones, skin and organs.  In most states, the eyeballs are taken without consent as states allow this by law.  The corneas are used in transplants.  That is why a body will have the eyelids sewn shut at a viewing - it is just cotton under them to give a contour to the lids.)

 The skin is processed to remove any cellular characteristics of the donor (i.e, DNA, blood cell type) and sterilized.  When used, blood vessels and nerves will infiltrate the matrix and assumed the characteristics of the new host.  The product was originally developed for use in skin grafting  for burn patients.

It is possible that your body is rejecting the new tissue (same problem as in any transplant) and causing the inflammation.  This is not an infection.

An infection is caused by the introduction of microorganisms during surgery - a different kettle of fish.

By the way, if anyone ever needs a new heart valve, it will be the processed heart valve of a pig that is used (pigs having the most similar tissue make up to humans).  

Dx 11/6/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 21, 2010 07:59AM chris14 wrote:

Thanks so much to everyone who replied! This is cool :) They started with basic antibiotics, but jumped to the "big guns" on Thursday. Actually, I had a low-grade fever that seems to have broken and I am feeling and looking a little better. I still have an appointment with the infectious disease specialist and the PS tomorrow. All I know is that there have been days I have felt better, but then felt terrible again the next day, so fingers crossed!

Dx 1/16/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/14 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx Stage IV, 4/14 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+

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