New Breast Reconstruction Options for Cancer Survivors Takes a Natural Approach
Surprisingly seven out of 10 women don't know their breast reconstruction options after a mastectomy, according to a University of Michigan study.
Like so many in the same situation Michelle Hartog turned to her husband for input and emotional support. Dr. Hartog, an expert on breast reconstruction, provided Michelle with solutions on how to preserve womanhood and return to active lifestyles after surgery.
After surviving the threat of breast cancer, Dr. Hartog reconstructed Michelle's breasts through autologous fat transfer, a natural alternative to saline or silicone implants. AFT or fat grafting is virtually scarless, uses a woman’s own fat and to give women natural-looking and -feeling breasts. Upon using gentle liposuction to remove fat from areas such as the thighs or abdomen, it is then injected in very small amounts in the desired areas, allowing the body to quickly build and attach the blood vessel networks needed for the fat tissue to survive.
Michelle, who is committed to maintaining an active lifestyle, now competes on an all breast cancer survivors dragon boat team-Warriors On Water. In 2012, her team won its division at the annual Great White North (GWN) Dragon Boat Races and the team is participating in the 2014 International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission (IBCPC) Participatory Dragon Boat Festival taking place Oct. 24-26 at Nathan Benderson Park, where more than 100 teams, 3,000 breast cancer survivor dragon boat paddlers and supporters representing more than 10 countries will converge and compete.
With an increase in women undergoing mastectomies in recent years, many women are seeking stories that offer support, hope and meaningful insight. With fat grafting as an available option, women should know that they are not forced to choose between a life without breasts or one with artificial implants. Michelle and Dr. Hartog make a dynamic pair - advocating for both the cause and his scarless all natural solution in the industry and throughout their community.
Surgeon Uses Fat Transfer for Mastectomy Reconstruction Patients
Plastic surgery revolutions allow women with breast cancer a natural way to regain feminine physique
WINTER PARK, Fla. – For most women, the fight against breast cancer is scary, especially as they look at various treatment options. What might be just as frightening to many women are the steps after diagnosis and treatment. What happens after a mastectomy?
According to a University of Michigan study, seven out of 10 women don’t know their reconstruction options.
Dr. Jeffrey Hartog, director of the Bougainvillea Clinique and the Aesthetic Surgery Center of Winter Park in Florida, is using fat to reconstruct women’s breasts after mastectomies. The innovative autologous fat transfer procedure, or AFT, used by Hartog has helped many women since he began utilizing the method three years ago.
He first used fat transfer to reconstruct women’s breasts when his wife, Michelle, was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2010. The results have been so outstanding that he now works hard to make sure that women diagnosed with breast cancer are aware of their options.
“It is sad that in our technology-driven society only 40 percent of women with breast cancer have reconstruction,” said Hartog. “There are so many additional benefits to using fat. It is more natural than artificial implants and very versatile. For many reasons, I believe it is superior to other methods of reconstruction, including implants and tissue flaps, in almost all cases.”
In the outpatient procedure, fat is taken from one area of the body and purified. It’s then injected in small droplets into the breast and chest area to reconstruct the breasts. Once the fat is injected, the body quickly builds a vascular network to support it, making it permanently attached to the “new” part of the body. This is normally done in stages as a 100-percent outpatient procedure. Extra fat that is removed can even be prepared and cryopreserved in the facility’s FDA-registered tissue bank and stored indefinitely for later use.
Women who choose fat transfer as a breast reconstruction method frequently find that skin sensation returns, which is not usually the case with implants and tissue flaps.
“This technique is especially great for those who have tested BRCA-positive,” Hartog said. “Women can have a prophylactic mastectomy and begin their reconstruction with fat at the same time in our facility. They can leave our outpatient facility with small breasts immediately after their mastectomies and feel better about themselves.”
Celebrities, including Suzanne Somers, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, have used the fat transfer procedure to great success.
Located in central Florida, the Breast Center at the Bougainvillea Clinique is the premier destination for people seeking the best in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the breast. Jeffrey M. Hartog, M.D., and his wife, Michelle Hartog, R.N., established these facilities with the goal of improving people’s quality of life through state-of-the-art plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures. The practice is adjacent to the Aesthetic Surgery Center of Winter Park – a free-standing state- and federally licensed surgical center that caters to all client needs.
For more information, visit www.lookandfeelbetter.com and call 866-985-4741.
About Dr. Jeffrey Hartog, D.M.D., M.D., is the director of the Bougainvillea Clinique in Winter Park, Fla. He is dual Board Certified in Plastic Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Hartog lectures and trained all over the world. He has completed more than 4,000 breast surgeries in his career and is an acknowledged expert in breast augmentation and regenerative breast surgery. When not in surgery, he is an avid scuba diver and an award-winning photographer, including underwater photography. www.lookandfeelbetter.com
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