Sometimes your natural tissues need a little help to provide enough support to keep internal body structures held in place and looking natural. When these situations arise, the plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center may recommend Alloderm or Strattice.
Alloderm and Strattice are sheets of sterile tissue that can be implanted to provide additional structural support for your natural tissues and encourage more natural tissue growth. Alloderm is derived from cadaver donors, while Strattice is derived from porcine sources. The two products work much the same, except Alloderm is slightly more pliable and flexible than Strattice.
Alloderm and Strattice offer structural reinforcement when used in men and women who need more support than their natural tissues can provide. These materials are often used in conjunction with a number of reconstructive surgery procedures. Most commonly, Alloderm and Strattice are used during:
If you and your surgeon have agreed that you could benefit from using Alloderm or Strattice during your procedure, surgery will be performed with the usual techniques except that tissue sheets will be implanted as part of the surgical process.
The sheets will be removed from their sterile packaging and folded, trimmed or cut into the appropriate shape to meet your needs. As the sheets are freeze-dried, they must also be rehydrated prior to implantation.
The methods used to implant the Alloderm or Strattice sheets will vary depending on the surgical procedure being performed. For example, in breast reconstruction, Alloderm is typically used instead of Strattice, and the sheets are molded so that they create a kind of envelope to support breast implants. After the tissue sheets are implanted, non-dissolvable sutures are typically used to fix them in place before surgical incisions are closed.
Because Alloderm and Strattice are merely tissue supplements used during surgery, they do not typically affect the recovery period or aftercare instructions for surgical procedures. They cannot be “rejected” or cause infection and should serve only to provide more natural and longer-lasting surgical results.
Call or email the UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center in Chapel Hill, NC to learn more about how Alloderm or Strattice can enhance your surgical results, or to schedule a consultation with one of our highly trained, board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons.