Small breast implant for post-lumpectomy patients affords natural cosmetic results

Tumor removal may cause tissue to collapse into breast cavity, but implant fills the void

Lynne Adkins
October 01, 2018 - 3:41 pm
The BioZorb implant

BioZorb/Einstein Medical Center Montgomery

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A small implant is having a big impact on breast cancer surgery.

A lumpectomy lets women keep their breast after a cancerous tumor is removed. Unfortunately, the outcome isn't always natural looking, according to Dr. Jennifer Simmons, chief of breast surgery at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.

"They're used in the context of breast conservation, so when a woman has breast cancer and she opts for breast conservation, that operation traditionally can be great and can be highly, highly deforming," she said.

Removing the tumor, she explained, leaves a void, and the breast tissue may collapse into that space, giving the breast an unpleasant dimpled look. To combat the void, she is now using an implant to fill the cavity, keeping the breast's natural shape. The implant, called BioZorb, fills the void while the body produces scar tissue in the space.

"It's a spiral and it's open and it's made of the same material that our suture is made of, our absorbable suture," Simmons said. "You can place it in the defect that was made by removing the cancer."

Once the device is absorbed, only small titanium markers remain, pinpointing where the tumor was and where radiation treatment should be directed.