I’ll Expand My Own Breasts, Thank You! New AeroForm® Breast Expander Hits US Shores
19 Feb 2017
Here at I’m Taking Charge, we love to share news about organizations and products that can benefit you during your breast cancer journey. The AeroForm® Tissue Expander System just became available in the United States. Here’s the scoop on this great new breast expander option. It reduces both the time and pain typically associated with reconstruction!
What’s Different About the AeroForm® System?
Unlike other tissue expanders, AeroForm® allows women to control their own expansion before breast reconstruction surgery.
How Other Tissue Expanders Work
After mastectomy, and before permanent implants can be placed, a surgeon places temporary saline expanders into the breast. Women must then periodically visit their clinic to have approximately 50 to 100ml of saline fluid injected. It’s injected into the expanders’ fill port via a needle through the skin. The process is uncomfortable for some, difficult for others, and inconvenient for most.
How the AeroForm® System Works
With AeroForm®, women control the amount of expansion with a remote dosage controller. They do this by pressing a button, which releases a small amount of CO2 gas. The device allows for a maximum of three 10ml doses per day, with a three-hour lockout between doses. As a safeguard, there’s an unpowered valve mechanism that remains closed. It prevents any unwanted release of CO2.
On average, the whole process of expansion takes about seventeen days. This is much less than the six to eight weeks it takes with typical saline expanders. Additionally, a woman using AeroForm® can undergo expansion at a rate that’s comfortable to her. It’s done at home or work, or while traveling.
Clinical Trials and Reviews
The trials in Australia and the United States fitted 159 women with 273 AeroForm® expanders. Five of the women undertook air travel while the expanders were in, and two underwent concurrent radiation therapy. Neither group experienced any adverse effects.
Additionally, since AeroForm® was approved for commercial use in Australia, over 350 patients used the device. Patients and surgeons report a satisfaction rate of 95-100%. You can access information about the trials here (in the tabs entitled, “No Study Results Posted,” you can find published research articles about the trials).
Comments by Patients:
No woman who has to face this illness should be denied this easier path to reconstruction . . . Having so much control over the expansion process enabled me to keep living fully during treatment. I continued to do everything I love including my work as a teaching artist -Sofia, age 44
I loved the fact that ultimately I had less pain for me, less visits to the doctor’s office and less time overall before I would have my brand new, shiny breast implants and finally be able to put this whole chapter behind me. -Shelly, age 60
I’ve expanded while on vacation, in the car coming home from the airport, and even after a day of roller coaster rides. The words ‘mastectomy’, ‘expansion’ and ‘reconstruction’ were not going to define me . . . living a full and active life is more my style. –Marcy age 61
Who Can’t Use Aeroform?
Press Release Announcing First Use in the United States
A January 18, 2017 press release announced the first commercial use of AeroForm® in the United States. AirXpanders president and CEO Scott Dodson said, “The AirXpanders team is excited to initiate the commercialization of AeroForm in the United States. We believe that AeroForm is poised to be widely adopted and elevate the standard of care for women undergoing reconstructive surgery. We’re proud to have created, and now make available, what we believe is one of the first major advancements in two-stage breast reconstruction in more than 40 years.”
Where Can You Find AeroForm® in the United States?
New locations will be offering the AeroForm® Tissue Expander System in the coming months. But you can start your research by visiting the AirXpanders website and filling out the contact form. The AirXpanders team will be able to tell you if AeroForm® is available in your area.
Let’s hear it for AeroForm®, an innovative option that really puts women in charge of reconstruction!
Have YOU used AeroForm®? If so, let’s hear about it in the comments!