We’ve Gone BONANZA!
With the latest trend for kidz -- a water balloon game where you fill over 148 balloons in less than 2 minutes, splish and splash! Throw, launch and lob, and just have some summer fun! Now ladies, you too, can go a little BONANZA! If you are a breast cancer survivor in need of finding the right option for breast reconstruction, look no more. A revolutionary solution that REALLY works!
Whether you have recently undergone a single or bi-lateral mastectomy, you must check out the new CO2 Tissue Expanders before you choose your reconstructive surgery. It is an amazing technology.
Survivors no longer need to sit in the back seat. They can be in the driver seat, in control, and can PUMP YOU (yourself) UP! That’s right. A little each day – whether you are at home, work, out to dinner, or even driving, as one Physician at Columbia U recently stated! Well I don’t know if I’m going to suggest that but perhaps find some quiet space or down time to focus and pump. Like breast feeding or pumping breast milk. Okay that sounds more logical. These CO2 tissue expanders are known to be a faster method of saline tissue expanders. They use a remote control, are needle-free, and provide very high patient satisfaction in a controlled environment performed by the patient. Wow – what a new advancement in breast reconstruction. I think we have gone BONANZA!
For more traditional breast reconstruction, there are Prepectoral Implants – which decrease pain and animation deformities, and provide less protection against rippling and implant exposure. Oh my gosh, I sure had those rippling affects - embarrassing after surgery resulting in thin breast tissue! And then there is also Autologous Fat Graphing – a useful office or OR adjunct procedure for correcting contour irregularities that may involve several treatments.
So I'd like to weigh in on these advance treatments having undergone quite a few of them during my post-op recoveries. . . I had my breast implant replacements immediately after my bi-lateral mastectomy, within hours of one another while under general anesthesia. The docs were not sure they could place gel implants (the gummy bears) inside me since I had bi-lateral lumpectomy with radiation prior and radiation tends to tighten the skin and does not allow it to expand. I used creams and tried to soften the tissue prior to that surgery and it did help a little bit and so we gave it a shot. However, I was limited to a certain size implant due to the size of my chest cavity and tissue remaining post-lumpectomy.
The docs were able to save my outer-tissue and nipples – called a skin-sparing, nipple-sparing procedure (eg, Angelina Jolie had the same), and I was one of the first in the State of New Jersey to undergo this procedure back in 2007. I was a research patient for the now FDA approved 410 gummy bear gel implants by Natrelle. Even though I incurred numerous post-op complications thereafter, I would not have changed my breast reconstruction decision. To this day, I am happy with the procedure I chose because I did not want a Tram Flap or any other type of ‘Flap’ procedure. I just wanted to heal and get back to my life being a working Mom and so I did.
Of course, the docs always placed implants “under” the pectoral muscle (Subpectoral Implants) but now they have learned it is possible to place them above (Subglandular Implants) and hold them secure in other ways. I won’t get into the technical aspects but given the choices today, yes, it is less invasive and much less PAINFUL to have breast implants today and recovery is so much faster. Between 2008 and 2011 when I had four implant replacements within less than 18 months, due to many types of adverse reactions and complications. Perhaps I would have never have had so many surgeries if this procedure was offered above the breast muscle, and surgeries and recoveries would have been easier on me too. All these things come into factor as a patient. So work with your physician and choose what is best for you and your body. That’s what I always say. Don’t be influenced by the 'boob' next door!
I did have a Fat Graph too which I later learned, is common that it does not always last. The fat dissipates In some patients. While it looked great for a period of time, to fill the craters or gaps between my breasts as I called them, the fat moves and dissipates throughout your body similar I guess to what Cool Sculpting does today-- one of the latest craves in non-invasive liposuction or fat reduction procedures.
Now if you have questions about the type of Natrelle Silicone-Filled Gel Implants available, I will be covering those options in more depth in an upcoming blog highlighting various styles offered by Lifecell, an Allergan affiliate. I'd like to thank the Top Docs at New York Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center for allowing me to participate at their CME annual conference this past May. To learn more about their clinical trials for breast cancer advanced treatments contact Columbia surgery here.
All the breast, Jean
About Jean Criss – Criss is a ten-year breast cancer survivor of bilateral cancer (DCIS — Ductal Carcinoma In Situ). She is the Founder and Designer of CRISSCROSSIntimates.com – luxury intimate apparel for women and men who undergo post-op surgeries! Criss is also Founder of JeanCrissMedia.com, a creative digital media services agency and Author of trilogy series, My Pain Woke Me Up and shares her breast cancer journey in BLISS! Criss recently received five CME accredited Breast Cancer Management Certifications from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons and also received a Certificate of Honour by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons–Patients of Courage: Triumph over Adversity Award. Criss served on the Board of Trustees: Susan G. Komen North Jersey Affiliate, has produced award-winning PSAs, co-chaired gala events, is a member of their Speaker’s Bureau and continues to fundraise and volunteer with Komen affiliates. She works with research organizations and educational charities to support breast cancer at large.