New Breast Reconstruction Options

Monday 19th April 2010

Reconstructive surgeons are beginning to use excess fat from the back and waist to reconstruct breasts in slim women who have had mastectomies. Surgeons at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland claim that Slim women with athletic builds do not usually have enough fat around their stomachs to successfully reconstruct their breasts but do tend to have enough excess fat or 'love handles' around the waist and hips. The surgeons have now started using this tissue to improve the cosmetic appearance of reconstructed breasts in slim women.

Describing their new surgical methods in the online journal Microsurgery, the surgeons explain that breasts are commonly reconstructed by using tissue taken from the patient during an earlier' tummy tuck' procedure. In cases where there is not enough fat around the stomach, surgeons usually remove tissue and skin from the buttocks. However surgeons claim that using buttock tissue can damage the appearance of the patient's rear, so much so that follow up surgery is often required. Whilst conducting reconstructions using buttock tissue, surgeons happened upon a blood vessel that led them to investigate whether the blood vessel extended to 'love handles'. They examined a number of cadavers and found that up to 60% of people had a blood vessel situated in that region that would facilitate the surgery.

The team claim that it is easier and more cosmetically pleasing to remove fat from the waist, back and hips. The technique has been used to successfully reconstruct the breasts of 12 slim women between 2008 and 2009. The surgeons now hope to offer this new surgical options to a wider range of women who could benefit from the reconstructive surgery.

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