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Remote Controlled Breast Implants for Cancer Patients

Remote-controlled breast implants help ease pain and fear for cancer patients.
Thirty-three percent of women choose to get breast reconstruction surgery after having a mastectomy.  This low rate may come as a surprise to some, but when you consider today's long process of using needle-based, saline expanders, you might see why some women opt out of this process. Now, a new remote controlled device is helping ease some of that pain and fear.

Marie Jobson and her husband are bringing southern BBQ to California, but her restaurant had to be put on the backburner when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"The double mastectomy was the right choice for me," Marie told Ivanhoe.

But following a mastectomy, she had to make a very personal choice on breast reconstruction.  Traditional saline expanders can take up to six months, with at least one, 15 minute doctor visit a week, and with each visit comes a painful needle.

"It requires poking a needle through skin, through muscle, and into the implant," Kamakshi R. Zeidler, MD, Plastic Surgeon, Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgery, Campbell, California, told Ivanhoe.

Now, there is a new remote controlled device called the AeroForm that uses air instead of saline. 

It cuts the expansion time from months to a couple of weeks. It also allows women to inflate the implant at their own rate, up to three times a day, with no needles!

"Within this implant is a cartridge of compressed CO2 and this little red area is an antenna. It's activated by the remote," Dr. Zeidler said.

All a woman has to do is push a button, then the remote activates a valve and the CO2 is released. Marie says she gets three doses a day, each at 10 cc.

"This is one less visit to the doctor," Marie said.

It's giving women like Marie control and time back.

Dr. Zeidler says that patients cannot dose too much. 

The remote is programmed to allow only three doses a day and up to 30 cc, which is less than what they put in traditional saline expanders in an average visit.

BACKGROUND: Breast implants seem to be known as a cosmetic procedure, but with the increasing rate of women who develop breast cancer, it is more than a confidence boost. Women opt to have a breast augmentation after a mastectomy to reconstruct the damage that breast cancer left behind. A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes all of the breast and nipple. A woman may choose to have a mastectomy to remove the entire breast, a partial mastectomy that removes some of the breast, or a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and surrounding breast tissue. (Source: http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/mastectomy)

SIGNS: If you are experiencing any of the signs below, it is suggested that you schedule a visit with your physician.
•A lump the size of a pea
•Discharge from nipple
•Redness of the nipple or skin on breast
•A lump in the breast or near the armpit that carries through the menstrual cycle
•Hardened area under the skin
•Change in appearance of the skin
(Source:  http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/guide/overview-breast-cancer)

TREATMENT: When it comes to deciding what to do when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, most patients are encouraged to go through radiation and chemotherapy. If surgery becomes necessary, then a patient is to decide between a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. If a mastectomy is the final decision as far as surgery, then a woman may consider going back under the knife after remission. This surgery entails breast reconstruction or breast augmentation. There are two different makes of implants; silicone and saline. Each option will depend on the patient’s physical situation and preference.  (Source: http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/cosmetic-procedures-breast-reconstruction)

NEW TECHNOLOGY: The latest make of breast implants are remote controlled. This new technology named, AeroForm entails a CO2 cartridge and an antenna. All the patient has to do is push a button on the remote and relax as the CO2 is released into the expander. This practice cuts down doctor visits and is less painful than traditional reconstructive procedures. Patients cannot overdose on their CO2 releases because the remote is programmed to allow up to thirty cc’s a day. Patients opt for this new procedure because it does not require months to inflate and patients don’t have to endure the pain of a needle during traditional procedures. (Source: http://www.airxpanders.com/)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Kamakshi R. Zeidler, MD
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
408-559-7177
zeidlermd.com 
DrZ@zeidlermd.com


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