Patients undergoing breast reconstruction surgery now have another alternative to saline implants thanks to the revolutionary AeroForm AirXpanders. This new type of product minimizes physician visits for breast reconstruction patients, allowing the patient to entirely control the expanding process on their own — without the need for saline.
For those new to the breast reconstruction process, it is very common for a large amount of skin and muscle to be removed during a mastectomy. Therefore, before an implant or microvascular flap reconstruction can take place, the skin and muscles in the chest must be expanded over a period of up to six months.
Traditionally, a tissue expander – unfilled—would be placed in the chest with an external port. Then, every few weeks the patient would have to come in to the doctor’s office to have some saline solution injected into the expander, allowing the levels to gradually increase over a period of 2-6 months. When the skin and muscle have expanded enough, the surgeon is then able to surgically remove the expander and then place the implant safely.
This process required lots of regular doctor’s visits, which is why there is now a new, saline-free method for breast reconstruction expansion known as AeroForm.
Aeroform is an expander device that can be inserted into the breast area just the same as a traditional expander. However, instead of the patient having to come in for regular doctor’s visits following their reconstruction surgery (in order to get saline injected), the patient can now safely self-administer CO2 a few times per day, which works to slowly fill the expander.
This is possible with a small antenna within the Aeroform device, and a remote control that the patient receives. For safety, this device only allows up to three “doses” of CO2 per day to ensure safe expansion of the breast tissue – each dose activated by the convenient handheld remote.
For patients that have survived breast cancer and other diseases of the breast that require a mastectomy, breast reconstruction is the last step to beginning to feel like their healthy self once again. After so much time spent in doctor’s offices for checkups and tests, it is so empowering for patients to be able to do this process on their own and cut back on the number of trips to the surgeon’s office.
If you are preparing to undergo breast reconstruction in New Jersey or New York, you may be a good candidate for the AeroForm expanding device. At The Plastic Surgery Group, we are proud to offer this alternative for patients who are a good fit. Contact us today to learn more and to see if AeroForm is right for you.