Breast reconstruction breakthrough! French scientists Julien Payen and Pierre-Marie Danze have developed a specialized breast implant for breast cancer survivors that uses 3D printing technology.
Hope for breast cancer patients
Many breast cancer patients need to have either one or both breasts removed to prevent the spread of the disease. Some women — notably Angelina Jolie — opted to have a voluntary double masectomy because of her high risk of cancer.
A breast reconstruction lattice
The new breast reconstruction technology can help these women get completely customized, natural-looking breasts. The new implant uses an absorbable shell-like structure that holds injected fatty tissues. It does not pose any risks or harm to the patient.
Best of both worlds
Today, the standard treatment for breast reconstruction surgery uses silicone implants, which can trigger immune reactions to foreign bodies. The alternative treatment, lipofilling, also has its own risks. While plastic surgeons use tissue extracted from the patient, it is a challenge to get tissue to grow in the right places.
The new method combines best of both worlds. Once approved by the FDA, plastic surgeons can use 3D printing in place of silicon implants and injects the autologous adipose tissues, i.e individual fat cells, into this shell.