Breast cancer

13 November 2009

Pigskin used for breast replacement

After giving replacement breasts made from pigskin to six women in Germany, doctors in Munich detailed the new method and say it results in fewer scars for mastectomy patients.

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After giving replacement breasts made from pigskin to six women in Germany, doctors in Munich detailed the new method and say it results in fewer scars for mastectomy patients.

Senior doctor Darius Dian said the procedure used a "dermal matrix" made from an under layer of the skin of pigs. The pig's own cells are removed from the skin. The woman's own cells and blood vessels repopulate the material after it has been transplanted.

A US biotechnology manufacturer won regulatory approval a year ago in the European Union to market the product, known as Strattice.

The current standard method to reconstruct the breast relies on transplanting flaps of the patient's own skin from the belly, back or buttocks, but this leaves scars there and may also lead to capsular contracture, a tightening of skin at the new join.

Munich University's Gynaecology Clinic said it was the first clinic in Europe to offer the procedure. No major study of it has been completed yet, but one is under way in the United States, Dian said. – (Sapa, November 2009)

Read more:
Breast cancer: poor nations hit hard
Lipo-fat used for breast implants

 

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Breast cancer expert

Dr Gudgeon qualified in Birmingham, England, in 1968. She has more than 40 years experience in oncology, and in 1994 she founded her practice, Cape Breast Care, where she treats benign and malignant breast cancers. Dr Boeddinghaus obtained her qualification at UCT Medical School in 1994 and her MRCP in London in 1998. She has worked extensively in the field of oncology and has a special interest in the hormonal management of breast cancer. She now works with Dr Gudgeon at Cape Breast Care. Read more.

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