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Data Shows Efficacy And Aesthetic Benefits Of Direct-to-Implant Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Jan. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Direct-to-Implant, or One-Step, breast reconstruction following mastectomy to treat or prevent breast cancer is effective, safe and offers aesthetic benefits when performed on appropriate patients, according to peer-reviewed data published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The study included women who had mastectomy to treat a diagnosis of breast cancer and others who chose prophylactic (preventive) mastectomy because of high genetic risk such as a BRCA mutation or a strong family history of breast cancer. Recently, celebrities including talk show host Sharon Osbourne and Miss America contestant Allyn Rose of the District of Columbia (D.C.) publicly discussed their breast cancer risk and mastectomy plans to help educate and raise awareness.

"Undergoing mastectomy to treat or prevent breast cancer is an enormous physical and emotional event for a woman. Direct-to-Implant breast reconstruction represents an important step forward in reducing physical discomfort as well as time to final cosmetic results for mastectomy patients," said study author C. Andrew Salzberg, MD, associate professor at NY Medical College and Chief of Plastic Surgery at Westchester Medical Center and St. John's Riverside Hospital at Dobbs Ferry Pavilion, who pioneered the Direct-to-Implant breast reconstruction procedure 11 years ago. 

Traditionally, post-mastectomy breast reconstruction requires tissue expanders to be placed in the breast immediately after the breast tissue is removed. The expanders are filled with saline over three to six months to stretch the skin and muscle in preparation for implants, a process that can be painful for some patients. A second surgery is required to insert the permanent implant.

The Direct-to-Implant, or One-Step, procedure provides an immediate breast reconstruction within one surgery. A permanent implant is placed in the breast immediately following mastectomy. A specially prepared skin tissue, or "acellular dermal matrix," is placed over the implant as a muscle extender, avoiding the need for tissue expanders. The majority of patients will not require a second surgery. Direct-to-Implant reconstruction is often performed with a type of mastectomy that allows a woman to retain her own nipples.

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