FDA approves carbon dioxide tissue expander
Hot off the press!
The FDA (The US Food and Drug Administration) has cleared the carbon dioxide tissue expander for use in breast reconstruction surgery.
The mastectomy procedure removes the breast leaving the chest tissue tight, before breast reconstruction surgery the chest wall tissue needs to be stretched in order to accommodate the breast implant. An expander stretches the tissue of the chest wall to make room for a breast implant, similar to a shoe stretcher; the cavity is increased slowly over time as the tissue is gradually stretched.
Saline solution injections
The current way of stretching the tissue is achieved through the fitting of an expander and saline solution. The expander is increased in size by regular trips to the surgeon who injects the saline solution into the expander using a needle and syringe.
Carbon dioxide delivery
The new system uses carbon dioxide rather than saline solution, a small canister of compressed CO2 is contained within the expander. The release of the gas into the expander cavity can then be remotely controlled. Once positioned into the patients body and the incision has healed, the tissue expander, AeroForm, can be used at home delivering a controlled dose up to three times a day. This enables the patient to expand the tissue themselves, rather than having to visit the hospital to have the expander increased. The traditional expander took around 6 months before the breast is ready to accept an implant. The AeroForm takes only 17 days.
Benefits to the patient
There is no need for needles, the patient controls it themselves, less pain, shorter recovery and faster results all add up to an incredible change in the breast reconstruction procedure.