Remote control makes breast reconstruction less painful

Each year, about 100,000 women with breast cancer will undergo a mastectomy. For those who elect reconstructive surgery, it can be a long, painful process. Now, a remote control is changing that.

When Michele Stapleton found out she had breast cancer, the busy manicurist was not too worried at first.

"And so I said, oh I'll have a lumpectomy, no big deal. And they said no, the tumor was too large and that I'd have to have a mastectomy," said Stapleton.

As a precaution, the mother of two had both breasts removed. Her next step was reconstruction.

But doctor Ankit desai says the process can often be long and painful. There Is usually not enough skin to insert an implant after a mastectomy, so doctors have to stretch the patient's tissue with an expander and inject saline into it.

"They have to have a needle that is stuck through the skin,” said Dr. Desai. “Sometimes that can cause some discomfort for patients."

As part of a study, Michele is trying out a new tissue expander that uses a remote control. It allows patients to expand their breast tissue at their own pace in the comfort of their own home.

"I don't like needles. I don't like pain, and if I can control what I do as far as how I expand, it was exciting to me," said Stapleton.

The remote control is placed against the expander and, instead of saline injections, carbon dioxide is released.

"And you press the button one time and that's it. It's delivered a dose," said Dr. Desai.

Patients go from weekly visits and injections for several months, to only having to come in twice and can be ready for breast implants in just weeks.

"You have control over it. That's the glory of it," said Stapleton.

Giving people like Michele more time for what matters. Stapleton has two children.

"This is Addison, she's 5 and Avery is a lovely 2-year-old, they keep me busy," said Stapleton.

The study is actively recruiting all over the country for mastectomy patients planning to undergo breast reconstruction. For more information on the trial, click the link at the bottom of this story

RESEARCH SUMMARY

MASTECTOMIES: A mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast and is normally suggested for women with a large tumor in the breast, or when multiple attempts to remove the tumor through a lumpectomy have not been able to completely remove the cancer. Women with a high risk of breast cancer will sometimes have a preventative mastectomy to reduce their risk of developing the cancer and for peace of mind.

TYPES: There are four types of mastectomy that can performed:

"Simple" or "total" mastectomy is when the entire breast, including the nipple, is removed. The lymph nodes are not removed, although sometimes they are located in the breast tissue and are taken out with it. No muscles are removed either.

Modified radical mastectomy is when the lymph nodes are removed as well as the entire breast. Axillary lymph node dissection is performed so that the underarm lymph nodes can be examined to see if the cancer has spread.

Radical mastectomy involves the removal of the entire breast, the underarm lymph nodes, and the chest wall muscles underneath the breast. This is the most extensive mastectomy and is only suggested when the cancer has spread to the muscles underneath the breast. It is now rarely performed.

Subcutaneous mastectomy is performed less often than total mastectomies because the chances of the cancer returning are higher. This is when all of the breast tissue is removed but the nipple is left.

RECONSTRUCTION: Reconstruction of the breast (or breasts) after a mastectomy is common. In "immediate reconstruction" the breasts are reconstructed in the same operation in which the breasts are removed, though some women wait until months after the surgery to do breast reconstruction. Different techniques exist including using tissue from another part of the body, an implant, or both. However, if further radiation is needed, doctors suggest waiting until radiation treatment is complete. (Source: www.breastcancer.org)

BREAST REMOTE CONTROL: Called the AeroForm Patient Controlled Tissue Expander System, the investigational expander gradually inflates in small, pre-set amounts on a daily basis which the patient controls with a remote. The average expansion time is 15 days. The study will continue until a total of 92 AeroForm expanders and 42 saline expanders have been implanted into patients. The FDA has granted AirXpanders (the creators) with an Investigational Device Exemption so that they could carry out the study and it will be judged on how safely and successfully the device expands the tissue in preparation for a breast implant. (Source: www.wsj.com)
Bottom of Form
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Erich A. Sandoval
L A Z A R P A R T N E R S L T D
(212) 867-1762
erichsandoval@gmail.com
www.lazarpartners.com

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Andrew McIntosh at amcintosh@ivanhoe.com.

STATION SCRIPT

Television News Service/Medical Breakthroughs
? Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc. 2012
http://www.ivanhoe.com

SEGMENT: MB #3514 SEPT '12
Track 1: Narration
LENGTH: 1:29
Track 2: Interviews and nat. sound
TOPIC: REMOTE CONTROL FOR NEW BREASTS SEGMENT TEASE

HOW A REMOTE CONTROL IS MAKING BREAST RECONSTRUCTION LESS PAINFUL. NEXT IN MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS. (:25)
ANCHOR LEAD

EACH YEAR ABOUT 100-THOUSAND WOMEN WITH BREAST CANCER WILL UNDERGO A MASTECTOMY. FOR THOSE WHO ELECT RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY, IT CAN BE A LONG, PAINFUL PROCESS. NOW A REMOTE CONTROL IS CHANGING THAT. ANDREW MCINTOSH HAS THE STORY.
NAT SOUND
(buffing nails) (:03)
VO/NARRATION.............
WHEN MICHELE STAPLETON FOUND OUT SHE HAD BREAST CANCER, THE BUSY MANICURIST WASN'T TOO WORRIED AT FIRST. (:05)
CG
Michele Stapleton
Battling Breast Cancer
In: :05
Out: :14
"And so I said, oh I'll have a lumpectomy no big deal and they said no the tumor was too large and that I'd have to have a mastectomy." (:09)

VO/NARRATION.............
AS A PRECAUTION THE MOTHER OF TWO HAD BOTH BREASTS REMOVED. HER NEXT STEP--RECONSTRUCTION. BUT DOCTOR ANKIT (ON-KIT) DESAI (DUH-SIGH) SAYS THE PROCESS CAN OFTEN BE LONG AND PAINFUL. THERE'S USUALLY NOT ENOUGH SKIN TO INSERT AN IMPLANT AFTER A MASTECTOMY, SO DOCTORS HAVE TO STRETCH THE PATIENT'S TISSUE WITH AN EXPANDER AND INJECT SALINE INTO IT. (:17)
CG
Dr. Ankit Desai
East Coast Institute For Research
In: :31
Out: :36
"They have to have a needle that's stuck through the skin. Sometimes that can cause some discomfort for patients." (:05)
VO/NARRATION.............
AS PART OF STUDY MICHELE IS TRYING OUT A NEW TISSUE EXPANDER USING A REMOTE CONTROL. IT ALLOWS PATIENTS TO EXPAND THEIR BREAST TISSUE AT THEIR OWN PACE IN THE COMFORT OF THEIR OWN HOME. (:09)
Michele Stapleton
In: :45
Out: :52
"I don't like needles. I don't like pain and if I can control what I do as far as how I expand, it was exciting to me." (:07)

VO/NARRATION.............
THE REMOTE CONTROL IS PLACED AGAINST THE EXPANDER AND INSTEAD OF SALINE INJECTIONS CARBON DIOXIDE IS RELEASED. (:06)
NAT SOUND
(beep) (:01)
Dr. Ankit Desai
In: :59
Out: 1:04
"And you press the button one time and that's it. It's delivered a dose." (:05)
VO/NARRATION.............
PATIENTS GO FROM WEEKLY VISITS AND INJECTIONS FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, TO ONLY HAVING TO COME IN TWICE AND CAN BE READY FOR BREAST IMPLANTS IN JUST WEEKS.
Michele Stapleton
In: 1:13
Out: 1:15
"You have control over it. That's the glory of it." (:02)
VO/NARRATION.............
GIVING PEOPLE LIKE MICHELE MORE TIME FOR WHAT MATTERS. (:03)
Michele Stapleton
In: 1:18
Out: 1:26
"This is Addison, she's 5 and Avery is a lovely 2-year-old and she, they keep me busy." (:08)
VO/NARRATION.............
I'M ANDREW MCINTOSH REPORTING. (:01)
ANCHOR TAG
Trial information: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=NCT01425268
THE STUDY IS ACTIVELY RECRUITING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY FOR MASTECTOMY PATIENTS PLANNING TO UNDERGO BREAST RECONSTRUCTION.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

MASTECTOMIES: A mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast and is normally suggested for women with a large tumor in the breast, or when multiple attempts to remove the tumor through a lumpectomy have not been able to completely remove the cancer. Women with a high risk of breast cancer will sometimes have a preventative mastectomy to reduce their risk of developing the cancer and for peace of mind.

TYPES: There are four types of mastectomy that can performed:

"Simple" or "total" mastectomy is when the entire breast, including the nipple, is removed. The lymph nodes are not removed, although sometimes they are located in the breast tissue and are taken out with it. No muscles are removed either.

Modified radical mastectomy is when the lymph nodes are removed as well as the entire breast. Axillary lymph node dissection is performed so that the underarm lymph nodes can be examined to see if the cancer has spread.

Radical mastectomy involves the removal of the entire breast, the underarm lymph nodes, and the chest wall muscles underneath the breast. This is the most extensive mastectomy and is only suggested when the cancer has spread to the muscles underneath the breast. It is now rarely performed.

Subcutaneous mastectomy is performed less often than total mastectomies because the chances of the cancer returning are higher. This is when all of the breast tissue is removed but the nipple is left.

RECONSTRUCTION: Reconstruction of the breast (or breasts) after a mastectomy is common. In "immediate reconstruction" the breasts are reconstructed in the same operation in which the breasts are removed, though some women wait until months after the surgery to do breast reconstruction. Different techniques exist including using tissue from another part of the body, an implant, or both. However, if further radiation is needed, doctors suggest waiting until radiation treatment is complete. (Source: www.breastcancer.org)

BREAST REMOTE CONTROL: Called the AeroForm Patient Controlled Tissue Expander System, the investigational expander gradually inflates in small, pre-set amounts on a daily basis which the patient controls with a remote. The average expansion time is 15 days. The study will continue until a total of 92 AeroForm expanders and 42 saline expanders have been implanted into patients. The FDA has granted AirXpanders (the creators) with an Investigational Device Exemption so that they could carry out the study and it will be judged on how safely and successfully the device expands the tissue in preparation for a breast implant. (Source: www.wsj.com)
Bottom of Form

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Erich A. Sandoval
L A Z A R P A R T N E R S L T D
(212) 867-1762
erichsandoval@gmail.com
www.lazarpartners.com


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