New technology making re-construction surgery easier on breast cancer patients

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Traditional expanders required patients to have the implants injected with saline at the doctor's office. (KFSN)

Ana Alvarez is busy working and taking care of her aging mother. She never thought she would be the one needing help.

"I found out I had breast cancer when I went for a regular mammography," said breast Cancer survivor Alvarez.

She was shocked and scared.

"I spent like probably about a week, I didn't tell anybody," said Alvarez.

After careful thought, she decided to undergo a bilateral mastectomy, followed by reconstruction.

"The gold standard is to perform some type of reconstruction at the time of the cancer treatment," said Jaime Florez MD.

Dr. Flores says reconstruction means using tissue expanders to prepare the area for breast implants.

"I always tell my patients this is one of the most painful procedures we do," said Dr. Florez.

Traditional expanders required patients to have the implants injected with saline at the doctor's office.

"And they would go home and have pain for two to three days," said Dr. Florez.

New technology called Aeroform is changing the way expanders work.

"We have a Bluetooth device."

Using a controller pre-set by the doctor, the patient administers small amounts of compressed carbon dioxide into the expander three times a day. Patients control the size they want to expand, from the comfort of home. Alvarez loved the convenience.

"It was so easy and so manageable. There was no pain involved," said Dr. Florez.
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