Cosmetic Surgery Today

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Posts Tagged ‘breast reconstruction’

New Law Requires Hospitals to Share Options for Breast Reconstruction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 26, 2010

Many women who get a mastectomy don’t realize that they are eligible to get a breast reconstruction procedure at no cost. These women are simply not told that they are good candidates for breast reconstruction after mastectomy, and that insurance will pay for the procedure. Doctors are now required to inform patients about their options under a new law, A10094B/S6993-B/Information and Access to Breast Reconstruction Surgery.

Many insurers in New York do cover breast reconstruction procedures after a mastectomy, but less educated, poor and minority women are often unaware that they can get this procedure without paying any out of pocket expenses. According to Evan Garfein, MD, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Montefiore Medical Center, “a disproportionate number of women who are at a socioeconomic disadvantage do not get breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy for one of several reasons. Either they are unaware of it as an option, they do not know it is covered by Medicaid and Medicare insurance programs, they do not know where to gain access to the procedures, or it is never mentioned to them by their doctors.”

Dr. Garfein authored a bill that was signed into law to change this trend. He hopes that the new law will ensure that hospitals inform patients that they are eligible to have breast reconstruction procedures with insurance coverage. This may help dozens of women who are being treated for breast cancer have some hope of improving their appearance after mastectomy surgery.

Dr. Garfein notes, “breast reconstruction has been repeatedly shown to improve the quality of life and overall well-being of women who have been treated for breast cancer. This new law will ensure that breast cancer patients from all socioeconomic groups are informed about their options regarding breast reconstruction and about where to get the procedure.”

(Source: Medical News Today)

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Cytori Gets Approval for Stem Cell Device for Breast Reconstruction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on August 10, 2010

Cytori Therapeutics, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, has received the European approval CE mark for an innovative stem cell device. The Celution® System is a unique medical device that extracts and separates stem cells and regenerative cells from the patient’s fat tissue. This process is helpful for fat transfer procedures and can help with breast reconstruction. The Celution System may be very effective for repairing soft tissue defects, facilitating the wound healing process, and also for repairing the effects of Crohn’s disease.

Clinical data from Cytori’s RESTORE 2 breast reconstruction trial in Europe and several other wound repair clinical studies show that the previously-approved indications for use in the Celution® Steym are still active and unchanged. The system can be used to perform a number of different procedures, and may soon be marketed to clinics and hospitals in the United States.

The new indications covering the Celution® System for the digestion of adipose tissue can be used to prepare and implant autologous cell-enriched fat grafts for breast reconstruction procedures, and also deliver the Celution® System cellular output to facilitate healing of rectal and vaginal wounds resulting from Crohn’s disease.

According to Marc H. Hedrick, M.D., president of Cytori, “The expanded indications improve our ability to provide the Celution® System to European hospitals in addition to the private-pay plastic and cosmetic surgery clinics…these claims, coupled with our expanded focus on reimbursement, will make this technology more broadly available, not just for a wider range of procedures but to a greater population of patients.” (Source:

Over 370,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Europe each year and the majority of these patients need to undergo some form of breast reconstruction procedure. The Cytori stem cell device may help many of these women undergo a successful procedure.

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Study Supports Repurposing of Body Fat for Breast Reconstruction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 30, 2010

As more effective fat grafting and fat transfer procedures are developed and researched, plastic surgeons are setting their sights on body fat repurposing procedures as an alternative to implants.

A small study conducted by researchers of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that cosmetic breast reconstruction in slim, athletic cancer patients without enough fat elsewhere in the body, is effective with a certain fat transfer technique.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported results of their procedure in the online version of the Microsurgery journal after reviewing results on cadavers and 12 breast cancer patients over the course of a year.

Ariel N. Rad, M.D., Ph.D., one of the assistant professors of cosmetic surgery and plastic reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explains “when implants aren’t used, the most common technique for reconstructing breasts after a mastectomy is to make breast tissue from a flap of fat and skin from the abdominal region…thin, athletic women don’t have enough tissue there. But even they often have some excess fatty tissue in the space between the hip and waist. For them, using those love handles is a new option.” (Source: Medical News Today)

The fat grafting procedure is  relatively simple process, and involves removing several milliliters of fat from an existing fatty pocket, sterilizing it, and separating the fluid to extract stem cells and pure fatty tissue. The pure fluid is then re-injected into the body in the desired areas, and it typically only takes a few days for the body’s tissues to adapt.

Surgeons who have tested this procedure have been able to achieve good cosmetic results.  If the patient is a good candidate for the procedure, the overall effect can improve the contour and shape of the waist and hip area.

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Fat from Love Handle Area Can Be Used in Breast Reconstruction Procedure

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 27, 2010

Women interested in undergoing a breast reconstruction procedure after a mastectomy, or after botched implants, now have more options for achieve a natural, sculpted look.

A new surgical technique listed in the print issue of the Microsurgery journal indicates that doctors can extract body fat from the lower waist, or “love handles”, and re-inject it into the breast tissue. This procedure would eliminate the need to insert silicone or saline implants, and to perform extensive tissue manipulation procedures when reconstructing the breast.

According to study co-author Dr. Ariel N. Rad, an assistant professor of cosmetic surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, “When implants aren’t used, the most common technique for reconstructing breasts after a mastectomy is to make breast tissue from a flap of fat and skin from the abdominal region…thin, athletic women don’t have enough tissue there. But even they often have some excess fatty tissue in that space between the hip and waist. For them, using those love handles is a new option.” (Source:

The procedure is relatively simple, and serves as an alternative for extracting fat from the buttocks or other parts of the body, that often become deformed after such a procedure and also require post-procedure treatment. Women that undergo this procedure may also benefit from achieve a more sculpted waistline and balanced appearance around the hips and waist.

The fat is removed using an innovative liposuction procedure, and involves only a few incisions around the lower waist area. The fat is extracted and purified, and then reinjected into the breast area so that it can adapt to the existing tissues. Some women may need to wear compression garments to speed up the healing process, and results are noticeable within a few days after the procedure.

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Microsurgery Shows Promise for Breast Reconstruction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on November 11, 2009

CB051647The UT Southwestern Medical Center has introduced a relatively new and rare microsurgery procedure for breast reconstruction patients. The center has developed the Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap procedure for women seeking breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

According to Dr. Michael Saint-Cyr, this procedure preserves muscles so that recovery is quicker and there is less postoperative pain. In this procedure, the surgeons can reconstruct the breast with skin and fat that is taken from the abdomen. This gives the patient a tummy tuck while getting their breast reconstruction, and the entire process is completed by reattaching blood vessels under a microscope.

According to Dr. Michel Saint-Cyr, assistant professor of plastic surgery, this microsurgery can be done immediately after a mastectomy so that patients can have their breast tissue removed in just one step. Dr. Saint-Cyr points out that the reconstructed breast is firmer, has a more youthful appearance, and looks very similar to the original breasts because of this procedure. Since a significant amount of fat is removed from the abdomen, the patient undergoes a basic tummy tuck which can help to further improve their appearance and enhance their silhouette.

Dr. Saint-Cyr also points out that “Due to the complexity of the microsurgery, only about 40 surgeons nationwide routinely perform these types of procedures so travel may be required for some women to find a surgeon with the needed experience.” This type of surgery may be most appropriate for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and must have either one or both breasts removed.

This procedure, along with other similar microsurgery procedures, will be discussed at the “What’s New in Breast Reconstruction: Optimizing Results Using a Multidisciplinary Approach” seminar hosted at UT Southwestern in early December. The event will be open to the public and will include discussions about breast conservation therapy, nipple-sparing mastectomy techniques and options in breast reconstruction.


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Breast Augmentation a Hot Topic at ASPS Annual Meeting

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on November 6, 2009

j0439345The annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons touched upon several hot topics related to emerging technologies, techniques and surgery options for plastic and cosmetic surgery patients around the globe. A significant portion of the event was dedicated to the controversial techniques and emerging technologies used for breast augmentation, breast reconstruction and breast enhancement procedures.

The 2009 Plastic Surgery meeting touched upon several issues such as the implications of fat injections, and what the options were for women who had to have their breasts removed because of breast cancer or an accident. Dr. Robert Grant, a board-certified plastic surgeon who practices in New York City reported that there is definitely a need for more scientific research regarding the effects of fat transfer, and that this procedure does show some positive benefits for cosmetic surgery patients.

Fat transfer can be used to correct deformities of the breast, create more symmetry in the chest area and may also be used as part of a breast augmentation procedure.

Other key issues addressed at the ASPS annual meeting included stem cells that can be used for reconstructive procedures.  Stem cell research has been conducted for breast reconstruction procedures, but also for correcting scars, and for creating new tissue after an injury.

The ASPS meeting is the biggest plastic surgery meeting in the world, and gives surgeons the opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry and includes lectures, workshops and presentations.

Breast augmentation continues to be among the most sought-after procedures for women of all ages in the United States, and current techniques and procedures include more than breast implants and fat transfer procedures. Surgeons have found ways to recontour and shape the breasts without surgery, and have also been testing implant-based breast reconstruction procedures using products such as AlloDerm®.

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Liposuction Used to Help Cancer Patients with Breast Reconstruction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on October 18, 2009

College student textingCancer patients who need to undergo breast reconstruction surgery may benefit from an innovative liposuction technique which can help to sculpt and define the breast tissues with ease.

According to a recent report by BBC Wales, patients at the Singleton Hospital in Swansea are among the first in the country to benefit from liposuction with their breast reconstruction procedure.

Liposuction was used to transfer fat from their thighs and stomach, and then re-injected into the breast where the tumor had been removed. This entire process is less invasive and more comfortable than traditional breast reconstruction procedures, and may provide several benefits for cancer patients around the UK, and around the world.

Many patients who have had a tumor removed from their breasts notice asymmetry and an imbalance in their chests. Some can afford to have breast implants or surgery to restore their original shape and size, but many cannot. The liposuction procedure may help to fill out the breasts with more natural results, and in some cases, may even be more affordable.

According to consultant oncoplastic surgeon Nader Khonji who interviewed with BBC Wales, the new technique has a higher success rate than traditional procedures because it uses stem and regenerative cells from fat to perform the transfer. This results in a more natural appearance and few risks of side effects because it involves the patient’s real body tissues.

Part of the procedure process involves breaking down the tissue and splitting it into a concentrate of stem cells. These cells contain the essential growth factors that need to be present for the breast tissues to adopt the cells. These cells are mixed into the fat and re-injected into the breasts, with new growth occurring over a period of a few weeks.

The first ten patients in Wales who underwent this procedure enjoyed successful outcomes, and did not need to undergo the entire breast reconstruction procedure with implants after mastectomy.

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