Chest wall reconstruction using biomaterials

Daniel L. Miller, Seth D. Force, Allan Pickens, Felix G. Fernandez, Theresa Luu, Kamal A. Mansour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: Skeletal chest wall reconstruction can be a challenge, depending on the indication, location, and health of the patient; various materials are available. Recently, biomaterials that are remodelable (bovine pericardium patch; Veritas, Synovis Life Technologies Inc, St Paul, MN) or absorbable (polylactic acid [PLA] bar; BioBridge, Acute Innovations, Hillsboro, OR) have been introduced for reconstruction procedures. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of all patients who underwent chest wall stabilization or reconstruction between July 1, 2009, and March 31, 2011. Results: Biomaterials were used in 25 of 112 patients (22%) who underwent chest wall stabilization or reconstruction, and they form the basis of this review. Indication for reconstruction was malignant disease in 17 patients (68%). Overall, 10 (40%) resection sites were infected preoperatively. Reconstruction was performed with a combination of bovine pericardium and PLA bars in 11 patients (44%), bovine pericardium alone in 10, and PLA bars alone in 4; muscle flaps were interposed in 7 patients (28%). There were no operative deaths. Complications occurred in 6 patients (24%). Median follow-up was 12 months (range, 6 to 27 months). Three patients required removal of their biomaterials. Two bovine pericardial patches were removed prophylactically at the time of debridement of a partially necrotic muscle flap, and 1 PLA bar was removed because of an inflammatory reaction. None of the patients with an infected resection site required removal of their biomaterial. Conclusions: Chest wall reconstruction with biomaterials is a valuable option in the management of patients with chest wall abnormalities. Early results are promising. Biomaterials may be the preferred method of reconstruction for infected chest wall sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1050-1056
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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