about the episode
For some women with breast cancer, a complete mastectomy is the best treatment. In some cases, such as when someone appears to have an increased genetic risk of developing breast cancer, this is actually done preventively.
There are several options for breast reconstruction after this treatment, if such reconstruction is required. Including well-known breast implants, which are not achievable in all cases and have not always been shown to be safe. Or use the skin and adipose tissue from the abdomen. But this treatment also has disadvantages. The operation takes a long time, about six to eight hours, and leaves a scar on your abdomen.
So researchers at UMC+ Maastricht University were curious about the third method: lipid mobilization. The plastic surgeon uses fat from the hip, thighs or abdomen for example and injects it into the chest.
This is already used to fill in defects after previous reconstruction or for partial reconstruction, but it has not yet been shown to be safe and effective for full breast reconstruction.
Research to date has looked at 91 patients who underwent reconstruction using their own fat tissue and 80 patients who underwent a transplant. According to the researchers, there were no indications that treatment with their adipose tissue was unsafe and this group reported a higher quality of life after the procedure.
The National Institute of Health Care has now determined that treatment will be reimbursed from January 1, 2023 – subject to conditions.
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