The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not a synthetic photopolymerized tissue adhesive (polyethylene oxide hydrogel) is useful in seroma prevention using a well established rat mastectomy seroma model. Twenty-three Sprague-Dawley rats received mastectomies. The rats were randomly assigned to either the control group (n = 13) or the experimental group (n = 10). The control animals received 0.2 cc of saline into the wound before closure. The experimental group received either 0.2 cc (n = 5) or 0.4 cc (n = 5) of the polyethylene oxide polymer into their wounds before closure. The experimental animals were placed under an ultraviolet A lamp for 3 minutes to polymerize the adhesive. On postoperative day seven, the resultant seromas were quantified, and wound tissues were harvested for histologic evaluation. The rats in the control group had a mean seroma volume of 3.25 cc (SD = 2.41), whereas the rats treated with polymer had a mean seroma volume of 0.37 cc (SD = 0.51). A Student's t test was performed showing a statistically significant difference between the control and experimental groups (p <0.005). The volume of polymer used (0.2 cc versus o.4 cc) did not significantly impact the volume of the resultant seromas. This study demonstrates that photopolymerizable polyethylene oxide hydrogels can be used as a tissue adhesive and that such an adhesive significantly reduces seroma formation in the rat mastectomy model.
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