Angelina Jolie’s recent announcement of her preventative double mastectomy has raised awareness for women who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer due to the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes. Doctors estimated her risk of developing breast cancer at 87%.
Dr. Bircoll stated during a recent phone interview:
“As a plastic surgeon and medical doctor, I agree with her decision to have this surgery because she has now prevented this disease from affecting her down the road. Ms. Jolie’s decision is one that women should pay special attention to because it is a viable option for the prevention of breast cancer if family history or genetic predisposition exists.”
In this post, Dr. Mel Bircoll will discuss this new surgical option that accomplishes a soft, naturally reconstructed breast using a woman’s own adipose tissue (fat).
The first step in preventative double mastectomy is a bilateral “nipple sparing” mastectomy. This involves removal of the only the core breast duct tissue, the portion of the breast in which a potential cancer could start. The fatty tissue and the nipples are left intact.
During this surgical procedure, liposuction is also performed on the patient so that unwanted, excess fat can be removed and cryogenically preserved. This process involves using deep cold storage with an accredited FDA registered facility such as American CryoStem through their ATGRAFT tissue storage program.
After several weeks have passed, the plastic surgeon requests that a portion of the fat be sent from cold storage to the office for the first stage of a layered fat transfer procedure.
This involves approximately 100 to 125 cc of fat being injected into each breast in order to build up the breast gradually. This small amount of fat is the safest method because it ensures that new blood vessels are established to the newly injected sites in order to oxygenate those tissues so that they remain as living tissue.
A layered autologous fat transfer works over several treatments, spaced about three months apart, so that the patient’s new breasts consist of her own natural tissue. It is important to note that only the first of the surgeries (the “nipple sparing” mastectomy surgery and liposuction) are done in the hospital under general anesthesia. The layered fat transfers are safely and comfortably done using local anesthesia as an outpatient.
The benefits to the patient are many, including:
A variant of this approach used by some plastic surgeons includes the use of silicone breast implants for replacing breast volume (size) along with layered autologous fat grafting to soften the implant, giving it a more natural look and feel.
To discover the benefits of layered fat transfer after preventative double mastectomy, to find a participating provider near you, or to learn how to enroll in ATGRAFT fat storage, please contact American CryoStem or call us today at (732) 747-1007.
Dr. Mel Bircoll is a Board Certified plastic surgeon and practiced in Beverly Hills, California for twenty five years. Dr. Bircoll is a pioneer in his field; he is the first plastic surgeon in North America to perform Liposuction as well as the originator of the Fat Grafting surgery and cryopreservation of adipose tissue.
He currently serves on the Medical Advisory Board for American CryoStem Corporation and is working with plastic and breast reconstructive surgeons across the country to introduce this new approach to prevent breast cancer.