WESTON (CBS4) — Breast reconstruction surgery can be risky. However, a South Florida hospital has pioneered a new technique to cut down on those risks.
Joanna Price is a breast cancer survivor. Doctors first diagnosed her in 2008, and she has undergone five surgeries to first remove, and then reconstruct one of her breasts.
“I just wasn’t ready for this,” said Price.
Luckily, the plastic surgeon working on Joanna’s breast reconstruction was ready.
Plastic surgeon Michel Samson and another doctor at Cleveland Clinic Florida found a new way to use a cardiac surgery technique to make breast surgeries more successful.
“No one had been using this in plastic surgery anywhere in the United States at that time,” explained Dr. Samson.
The technique includes using a machine, and a green dye that’s injected into the patient, along with a little help from a laser light which gives doctors clues about blood circulation.
After injecting the dye, doctors look at the blood flow.
“The areas that stay dark are not receiving any blood flow,” said Dr. Samson, “and those that are light are receiving blood flow.”
If the blood flow is bad in the mastectomy area, the tissue may become necrotic or die and that would lead to loss of the entire reconstruction.
Dr. Samson plans to stick with this technique and its amazing track record, saying, “100 percent of the time this technology predicted necrosis in those patients.”
Dr. Samson said they’ve had such good results with this procedure at Cleveland Clinic Florida, they think they can use it with plastic surgeries in other parts of the body as well.
Click here for more information about breast reconstruction from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure web site.