The most common malignancy in American women is breast cancer. Breast reconstruction for mastectomy currently involves two choices, implant or autologous tissue flap. Implant reconstruction is relatively simpler but is temporary, whereas flap reconstruction is permanent but much more complex. We propose here a novel method for breast reconstruction by implanting a novel three dimensional biodegradable scaffold. This scaffold is designed to accommodate the patient's own omentum and fat tissues. Over time, the scaffold would be completely resorbed, leaving the patient's autologous tissue in the form of a new breast.
Our specific aims are as follows: 1) to construct prototypes of the biodegradable scaffold, and 2) to test the prototypes in pigs.
We propose a novel method for breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer. Current reconstruction involves two choices, implant or autologous tissue flap. Implant reconstruction is relatively simpler but is temporary, whereas flap reconstruction is permanent but much more complex. Complications in implant breast reconstruction are 2-3 folds higher than in breast augmentation, and the typical implant only lasts a few years. Flap reconstruction operations take several hours;require a hospital stay of approximately 4-5 days and subsequent outpatient rehabilitation of approximately 4-6 weeks. The patient then has one or more permanent large scar(s) at the donor site(s). Our novel method would achieve the long-term benefits of autologous tissue transfer with much less operative morbidity than the current flap reconstruction.