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Restoring What Was Lost: An Alternative To Breast Implants

As teenagers we were excited to watch our breasts grow, and as adults we love how they improve our appearance and how they feel. Imagine losing one or both of them. Losing a breast damages a woman’s self confidence and alters her appearance. Every day women are being treatened with the deadly disease, breast cancer, which may result in loss of life, or loss of their breasts, through a preventive or treatment method called mastectomy.

Studies show that over the course of a lifetime, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer affects both men and women, but predominantly women. A women’s risk of getting cancer depends on several factors, including alcohol use, by women who have never had children before the age of thirty, on obesity, on radiation, and on some other factors.

However, women who survive breast cancer, have the option of regaining their breasts through reconstructive surgery, to rebuild and to restore the breast. Breast reconstruction does not give a woman back her breast, but offers an alternative, with no natural sensations. The restored breasts are formed through silicone sacs filled with salt water or silicone gel.

A new and innovative technique has been used to restore a woman’s breast after being lost to cancer. Fat Grafting is a technique used by plastic surgeons to transfer fat from various areas of the body, mainly the buttocks and abdomen, to form a silhouette of the breast. However, Dr. Roger Khouri, a Miami-based plastic surgeon, has perfected the technique, and is impacting the lives of women all over the world, especially breast cancer patients who have lost their breasts.

Dr. Khouri is a well established, respected, and experienced doctor, with an extensive background in plastic surgery. He has made many contributions in the field of plastic surgery including liposuction, lipografting, and his most recent innovation, Brava Device, an external tissue expander.

He is offering an alternative to breast implants with the Brava Device and Fat Grafting. With Dr. Khouri’s micro-fat grafting procedure, the patient wears the Brava device, similar to a brassiere, that suctions the breast defect area and stretches the tissues. This creates an adequate matrix in which he later injects the fat. The fat is removed from the patient’s body by gentle liposuction and immediately injected into the prepared site. After undergoing a few procedures, the breasts are reconstructed. The procedure is performed as outpatient, often under local anesthesia and sedation, and has a minimal recovery time. As compared to the traditional methods, it involves no incisions, no new scars, no foreign objects and it recreates a natural feeling breast with the benefit of liposuction. the procedure covered by medical insurance.

Women who undergo these procedures have to be patient in seeing results. Breast regeneration is similar to the growth of the human body; it takes time.

Dr. Khouri speaks and trains doctors at leading national and international health and medical conferences, on a variety of topics including, the use of the Brava expansion, technique of Partial Mastectomy Reconstruction, Emerging Concepts in 3D Mega-Volume Fat Grafting, Single Stage Reconstruction of the Radiated Partial Mastectomy with External Expansion and Fat Graft, and Structural Fat Grafting in Breast Surgery. Dr. Khouri also trains other doctors by performing live surgery demonstrations. Upcoming conferences will take Dr. Khouri to England, France, Iceland, Germany, Panama, New York, Argentina, Italy and other locations around the U.S., and the world.

Here is an interview conducted by Premier Guide Miami with Dr. Roger Khouri explaining his newest invention and his upcoming symposium in Miami with over two hundred experienced plastic surgeons from around the world.

PGM: What is fat grafting and why women should know about this.

Dr.K: We made it possible to take fat from where you don’t want it, and put it in an area where you would like fat, the extra volume, the extra fat. Take it from here, put it there. We have shown scientifically, medically that we have the best way to make it happen, and it works.

PGM: How long have you been doing this?

Dr.K: I have been doing this for 6 years. We have done a very careful study where we follow the woman very carefully to make sure that what we took from here to there survive there, and our data has proven that this is effective. If you take fat from one side of the body, mainly the hips, thighs, the abdomen or whereever she doesn’t like it, and put it in the breast, we can make it survive in the breast.

PGM: What is your success rate?

Dr.K: We have about 90% success rate. 90% of the fat we take survives, and that is the challenge to get 90% success rate with such a significant volume. We can get 90% success with about 200-300 ccs volume. We are able to do this, but it takes work you need to prepare the breast.

PGM: How do you prepare the breast?

Dr.K: This is the most important step. You have to prepare the breast with a device called, Brava. Brava is a device that applies a gentle suction of the breast and over a period of time, enlarges them. Now if you wear them for a very long time, you will get real breast augmentation, the only proven method to enlarge the breast without surgery. The real tissue augmentation takes time, breast just don’t grow overnight. However, extension edima, swelling happens quite rapidly. Wearing the device, your breast gets swollen, you still don’t have real tissue growth, but that swelling allows us to put more fat,and have much more fat survive than if we inject breasts that are not swollen. Now you have a large recipient, a large vein, you can put more fat in it. So we have been able to enlarge the breast significantly. The size of an a good implant two cup sizes in one procedure getting a two-fer in essence, because we have the benefit of a liposuction on one side and the benefit of breast augmentation on the other side.

PGM: You have performed surgery on women who have lost their breast to cancer, tell us a little about that?

Dr.K: The same procedure is actually applied to women who have lost their breast to cancer. So it’s better if a small girl who has AA, nothing of a breast, the same would apply on a woman who unfortunately have lost her breast. We can regenerate the breast, we can grow it back by injecting fat, stretching the tissue with the Brava device, and inject fat inside. We give back a breast that feels normal, looks normal and has normal sensation, without any incisions.

PGM: Does it really?

Dr.K: Yes, it has grown back to it’s normal size the nerves grow back with the breast, so it gets sensation as compared to a flap or an implant where there is no connection to the nerves.

PGM: You have a conference coming up, traveling to several countries to educate and train doctors on how to perform this procedure. Are the doctors being receptive to the new procedure?

Dr.K: Oh yes. I have shown the procedure for the past 4 presidents of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. I have had the most recognized experts in breast surgery to see this procedure, and it is catching on. More and more people are realizing this is the way of the future, so we have decided to give a big symposium which we are going to have in February. We have over 200 plastic surgeons from all over the world coming to Miami to come and watch us do the operation, and to see some of the results. I’ve got about a dozen patients who have had the surgery done, most of them mastectomy patients women who have have lost their breast and given back a breast with this method ,without any incisions. Those doctors are coming to see the results and it is actually pointing to the future. I am very excited to have this, very proud to be the innovator, and to be the one to have started this procedure.

PGM: Will you be doing live presentations?

Dr.K: We will be doing live surgery. The 200 plastic surgeons who are coming are experienced plastic surgeons, they are not students, they are established plastic surgeons, and they want to see it being done. We are going to have a live telecasts from the operating room to the conference room, live. They will ask questions, if they have questions about what I am doing. I will be explaining it live as I am doing it. In addition to this live demonstration of surgery, we have live demonstration of patients with the people in the auditoriums. The registrants or the attendees will be able to see some of our patients who have had the surgery done and see for themselves, the results.

PGM: Close family relatives have been affected by cancer of some sort, was that the reason for the innovative fat grafting?

Dr.K: I came up with fat grafting because I have had a lot of breast reconstruction with flaps, and with implants. I have not been really satisfied. The implant is not a big operation but the result is not that great, and the flap is a bigger operation with reasonable result, but still feels like a patch. There are alot of surgery done with pacth works. Those women have already being mutalated by bad emotions, more scars, more trauma, it’s ok, but there has to be a better way and that’s how we came up with this. More patients accept this method. This is less intrusive, minamal surgery, quick recuperation time and it gives a much better result because it grows back what has been lost, as compared with doing patch work.

PGM: What are the side effects of lipografting?

Dr.K: Well, if the fat doesn’t take, it becomes very hard but with time the body dissolves it. Unless you put a large amount and create a blob of dead fat. Few droplets of dead fat is not a problem as the body dissolves it. I have done over 100 of these procedures over the past few years. The only minor complication was a small infection which was treated with antibiotics, and that is not unusual.

PGM: How long does it take to heal?

Dr.K: It is an outpatient surgery, you go home the same the day. Most out of town patients fly back home within a couple days of the procedure, and most go back to work within a week. It is a small procedure compared to big ones with anesthesia and staying in the hospital etc. People prefer to have a smaller procedure even if you do 2 or 3 of them as long as they are small procedures as compared to big ones where you have to have transfusions, you have to stay in the hospital for a while, etc.

PGM: What are the important facts a woman need to know before doing this procedure?

Dr.K:
>I do not recommend it to smokers
>If patients are fat it’s not bad, if you are skinny, not bad either, so the procedure applies to just about everyone.
>For breast augmentation, this is a very good alternative to implants, it takes little work, it’s natural, and it’s there for the rest of your life. It’s your own breast.
>For breast reconstruction, this is a beautiful alternative because it allows the breast to regenerate, to restore what was lost, not through through patchwork, not through implant or foreign body without any additional incisions. I have only turned down smokers. Just about everyone else is a good candidate, provide they are willing to do what it takes which is to wear the Brava device for few weeks before the surgery, about three weeks before, and three weeks after the procedure.

He’s holding training workshops (and live surgery demonstrations) in Miami and one in Germany in February to train doctors from around the world. For more workshop information, click here.

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