FDA Is Reviewing New Device That Lets Women Partly Reconstruct Their Breasts at Home

From teeth whitening to laser treatments, the list of beauty treatments that women can do in the comfort of their own homes seems to be expanding faster with every passing day. Now we can add a surprising procedure to the list: breast reconstruction. According to the Associated Press, a new device called AeroForm has made it possible for women to do a crucial part of their breast reconstruction by themselves at home. 

For the 100,000 women in the US that have surgery each year to remove a cancerous breast, this new device may be a godsend. It was invented by Dr. Daniel Jacobs, a Kaiser Permanente plastic surgeon in San Jose, California, and developed with help from a company he founded called AirXpanders Inc. Dr. Jacobs created the device as a solution for the many women who undergo painful doctor trips while reconstructing their breasts after surgery. Typically, patients must make several trips a month to their doctor to get injections of saline in a temporary pouch called a tissue expander. This allows their skin and muscle to gradually stretch and make room for a permanent implant, and it's quite painful. 

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AeroForm is a simple, handheld device that makes the process less painful. It allows the patient to pump gas into their tissue expanders themselves up to three times a day. And not only is it less painful, but it also allows the patients to finish tissue expansion at a faster rate than normal, according to a company-sponsored study of 150 women. Patients using Aeroform were able to get their permanent implants a month earlier than other patients. Best of all, this new device allows these women to have greater control over their own treatment, which is something that cancer patients don't usually have. 

The device is now being sold in Australia and has been approved in Europe. It is currently under review by the FDA, but with any luck it will be approved and soon be available for cancer patients in the US as well. 

An early video that explains how the technology works is below: