Doctors in the United States are testing a device that will allow mastectomy patients to take control over their breast reconstruction at home.
AeroForm, developed by the California-based company, AirXpanders Inc., is a temporary pouch that’s placed underneath the patient’s chest muscle in surgery. Following the procedure, the patient uses a wireless controller to inflate the pouch with gas.
With the click of the wireless controller, a dosage of 10ml of Co2 gas is inflated into the AeroForm pouches. A patient can only have three doses within 24 hours and the controller is locked for three hours following each given dose.
Ultimately, the purpose of AeroForm is to expand the woman’s chest muscles slowly so that the insertion of a permanent implant is easier on the patient’s body. This is in contrast to the typical approach, which requires a woman to receive a larger expansion (which is also more painful) at the doctor’s when needed.
Patients who try this breast reconstruction approach like that they have the ability to test out what they’re comfortable with, without having to undergo painful injections saline implants are known for.
Is AeroForm The Future of Breast Reconstruction?
“To a patient that’s going through cancer treatment that could be a big deal,” California-based surgeon and former president of the American Society of Breast Cancer, Dr. Deanna Attai, told the Associated Press.
“Giving the patient a sense of control is very psychologically important, because many women feel robbed of that.”
A shorter, less painful recovery and a more natural breast shape are other reasons why women are happy with the AeroForm reconstructive process.
Currently, AeroForm isn’t currently being tested for the Canadian market, but it could be of interest for the one in nine Canadian women who will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Research conducted by Research Breast Cancer found that 71 percent of women felt breast reconstruction was an extremely important part of their overall breast cancer treatment.
Patients choose to typically undergo breast reconstruction following mastectomies in order to feel more comfortable with their bodies and to help them move forward with the cancer recovery process.
No matter what route a person decides to take following their mastectomy, whether they decide to have a breast reconstruction or not, it’s exciting to see the new medical innovations taking place for breast cancer survivors.