AlloDerm is a product made out of human tissue that is used in implants. The tissue is donated by individuals who have passed away. Unlike other types of implants, AlloDerm implants are natural and become a part of the tissue of the individual who receives the implant. Such grafts have minimal side effects as compared with other implantation procedures, but side effects can still occur.
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There are several common side effects associated with alloderm. According to Breast Cancer.org, some of the common side effects include light swelling at the implant site, bruising at the site of the injection, discomfort, and pain or redness at the site of the implant. Finally, some patients experience shrinkage, which means the implant or AlloDerm graft itself shrinks. Breast Cancer.org reports that swelling normally subsides within one or two weeks. Bruising can also last for one to two weeks.
The function of the AlloDerm graft or implant is responsible for many of the side effects associated with the substance. According to Breast Cancer.org, the swelling, pain and redness are caused by the presence of the foreign substance in the body. The bruising is caused by the slight trauma the skin experiences as a result of the surgical procedure in which the AlloDerm was implanted. The discomfort is caused by the fact that the AlloDerm implant or graft is a new addition to a patient's skin tissue. Patients will feel discomfort until they become accustomed to it's presence. Shrinkage also occurs because it is a natural reaction of a foreign tissue within the body.
Most of the side effects of Alloderm are not significant. AlloDerm implants or grafts simply take some getting used to. Medscape reports that as the healing process continues, the AlloDerm begins to graft or become part of the tissue of a person, essentially becoming a "part" of the individual. Breast Cancer.org cautions that symptoms are not to be taken as indicators that the body is becoming infected or beginning to reject the graft. AlloDerm implants are specifically designed in a way that removes any cells that could cause rejection or infection in an individual.
Medscape suggests that the shrinkage is usually the most significant side effect. AlloDerm should be expected to shrink slightly following the procedure. Over the six months after surgery, shrinkage may seem to occur rapidly, but will slow down when the body becomes used to the implant.
According to Medscape.org and Breastcancer.org, most of the side effects associated with the use of AlloDerm as a surgical tool are not preventable as they are a natural response of the body to surgery and the implantation of a foreign substance. Mild pain killers, such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) are often recommended. NSAIDs, such as Tylenol, are sold over the counter without a prescription. Patients who are taking other medications should check with their doctors prior to taking any over the counter pain killers to cope with the pain or discomfort associated with their AlloDerm implant.
According to Breast Cancer.org, the very lack of side effects is what causes many individuals and doctors to be attracted to AlloDerm in the first place as safe, effective, and natural. While some people are concerned that their AlloDerm implant will cause an infection, scar tissue formation, seromas or hematomas, both Medscape and Breast Cancer.org state that there have been no reported instances of such side effects following AlloDerm implantation.
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