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Breform Breast Lift - the Internal Bra - South Africa, ZA

Due to sagging of the breasts from aging and...

Due to sagging of the breasts from aging and weight loss, I desired a breast lift procedure. As I researched the topic of mastopexy, I read more and more about the unfortunate limitations of this surgery:


> Lack of durability of mastopexy results with recurrent ptosis
> Difficulty to achieve lasting upper pole fullness of the breast via mastopexy

It was because of these findings that I eventually sought out Breform and had a mastopexy with Breform in 2011.

If you are a potential patient considering Breform, there are a few things I hope to share with you based on my experience:

1. POST-OP PAIN:
I had been informed that the Breform procedure would cause more post-operative pain compared to a traditional mastopexy. However, what was never discussed was the nature or intensity of the pain. I have a high-pain tolerance – and I had never experienced pain like this. The most apt way to describe this particular pain is like a “charley-horse of the breast.” However, unlike usually limited-duration leg cramps, these “breast cramps” went on hour after hour after hour... It was an excruciating cramping of the muscles in the upper portion of the breast. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t think straight so I could barely work or function. The pain would start and it would make me break out into a sweat and literally bring me to my knees. When it occurred at night the pain prevented sleep, or would wake me from deep sleep. This pain went on for at least two months. The post-op pain was the least of my problems with Breform… - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. DEFORMED LOOKING BREASTS & HARD PALPABLE AREAS OF FIBROTIC TISSUE
I was warned that it would take months for my breasts to look “normal” after Breform. Yes, immediately after surgery they looked very “Frankenstein-ish.” I patiently waited, and waited… After several months the appearance of my breasts had stabilized and it was clear that they looked deformed. Each breast looked different and both were strangely shaped due to the loose and tight mesh and my tissues attached to the mesh. It looked the very worst when I lifted my arms and could actually see where the Breform mesh had fused to my breast tissue.

In addition, around the edges of the mesh I could feel hard areas where my tissue had formed fibrotic growths around thee mesh.

My original surgeon told me to keep waiting. As per his instruction, I waited an entire year. At the end of a year, there was no improvement. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

3. REVISION SURGERY
One year after my Breform mastopexy, I was no longer in the country where the Breform was originally inserted. I went to a surgeon who is widely recognized as one of the top breast surgeons in the U.S. My surgeon planned to perform a revision surgery to improve the deformed shape of my breasts.

I had a normal length revision surgery of a few hours planned. Once the surgery started, the surgeon was surprised by how much my tissue had grown incorporated into the Breform mesh. This made the surgery very challenging. It took 12-hours for my surgeon to painstakingly extract, millimeter by millimeter, my tissue from the mesh to reshape my breasts into a more normal shape. I will need an additional procedure if I am to pursue adequate improvement. The cost of the surgery, due to the unexpected length, was staggering: 15,000 GBP; $24,000 USD; 210,167 ZAR; 18,481 EUR. This does not include the cost of my original Breform mastopexy surgery. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. BREFORM CORPORATE RESPONSE TO MY COMPLAINT
I reported my experience to the Director of Breform Limited. Here is an excerpt from what I emailed:

“The manufacturer web site states that the Breform material is not palpable, that there have not been any serious complications only “minor complications have resolved spontaneously,” and that the mesh can be removed if needed. In my case, I could feel hardened tissue around the mesh prior to my revision surgery. My revision surgeon had to surgically remove multiple areas of hardened fibrotic breast tissue that had formed around the mesh. There is no mention on breform.com of any patients with the complication of misshaped breasts that required revision surgery. The mesh was absolutely not “removable” in my case as my revision surgeon said that it would inadvisable to ever attempt to have the Breform removed since it would cause a significant trauma as my tissue has grown through the mesh…”

I received this response from the Director of Breform Limited:

“The conclusion after the investigation was that there was no error in terms of the product.” Attached to the email I received was a document containing a case report of one patient who had Breform removed. In this single-patient case report the removal was completed without incident.

The Director of Breform Limited went on to conclude that the actual problem that I had was that I did not return to my original Breform surgeon for a revision surgery.

Here is an excerpt from my response:

“My problem with Breform product “error” was completely prior to and independent of whether I later had revision surgery with one surgeon or another. To suggest otherwise is illogical, unscientific, and shows a total disregard of my experience of suffering aesthetic, medical, and financial.

Why was I forced to undergo revision surgery if not for product error?

…perhaps your company would like to start over with addressing my experience with Breform from a logical and scientific and good-business perspective. Please let me know either way.”

I never received a reply back from Breform Limited.

I wish I had never had Breform inserted. I fear for the additional treatment I must undergo. Even more, I fear for any future problems I may encounter due to this permanent mesh implant.

It is so frightening to read about the patients...

It is so frightening to read about the patients who have had problems with mesh implants, hernia, knee, etc. even years down the road.

Almost two years after my horrible experience with...

Almost two years after my horrible experience with the Breform mastopexy, I am about to start on the second stage of my revision and repair surgery. The Breform uplift has cost me so much in terms of time, pain, and financial loss.

I do not believe that any potential patient who reads this review would make the decision to proceed with a Breform procedure, certainly not after seeing my photos.

However, there may be women out there who have already had Breform and later develop problems such as hard-fibrotic areas of tissue around the mesh.

The danger is that these hard lumps could make it more difficult to detect cancer. A woman might be forced to have an unnecessary biopsy to determine whether a lump is hardened mesh or cancer. Even worse, due to hardened tissue around the Breform mesh bra, a woman might possibly not notice a cancerous lump and therefore fail to detect a tumor in the earlier more curable stage.

I am posting today to leave a written record for any Breform patient, her family, her attorney, or a Medical Standards Authority Organization. Should anyone ever be conducting an investigation into Breform, I hope that this information will be helpful.

As of today's date, the Breform.com web site continues to post innacurate and misleading information for potential patients in the FAQ section of their web site.

On October 16, 2012, and again on November 3, 2012, I emailed Chantell and Gary Lauryssen, Directors of Breform, as well as Dr. Peet Van Deventer. In addition to providing my photos and a complete account of my poor outcome with Breform, I called their attention to the invalid product claims on their web site. These claims include the statement that there have "been no complications with Breform," that you "cannot feel Breform under the skin," and that "Breform does not impair breast examinations."

I hope that no woman has to deal with Breform complications, but if so, I hope that this post might be useful.
Name not provided

My surgery was performed by one of the most experienced Breform practitioners in the world. Breform is not approved for sale in the U.S. The surgeon is highly competent. My negative rating is for the Breform product/procedure itself.

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Comments (9)

To kaysmith: Yes, it was the usual anchor uplift along with the mesh. Yes it was the full mesh coverage of the entire breast (but not the nipple/araeola area of course), just as is shown on the breform.com site. I don't know the actual dimensions of the mesh although I could look it up. Ask yourself, if this mesh works so well then why are so few physicans using it?
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Can I ask if you had the usual anchor uplift along with the mesh? I can't see any scars in your pictures. I've recently been offered a mesh uplift, sort of as a reconstructive surgery. After reading this I'm quite worried. Did they reshape your gland at all. I've been told I need the gland to be reshaped and then the mesh fitted. Do you know the size of the mesh fitted? I hope you don't mind me saying but from your pictures it looks like the strip of mesh was thin and didn't go up to your nipple, so there's a level of protruding over the mesh, which is causing the unusual shape.
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I'm so sorry you've gone through this. It's good of you to go through all you have to prevent others from having to as we'll. I really hope you are able to have help so when you see yourself you aren't reminded of the stress you've gone through.
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I am so sorry for your horrible experience..the emotional trauma has got to be huge with something like this. Please keep us updated with your revisions. Much love to you.
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I find this post unhelpful as it leaves more questions than answers. For example: 1. Has the surgeon explicitly said it was a product defect? If he's highly experienced that suggests he must have used the product many times without problems from the manufacturer. 2. From what I see of the product it is a standard surgical mesh as used in many other procedures and presumably is made in large batches. A 'product error' would surely have affected many people, the relevant authorities would have intervened and no surgeon would use it. Has that happened? 3. Maybe the surgeon fitted the wrong size? That might explain a lot of the outcomes described. Even excellent surgeons can make mistakes.
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Rosiclere, The reason the Community Manager stated in response to my review that the photos are very "telling" is that the photos pretty much tell the whole story. Looking at these photos, would you want Breform implanted in your breasts? Of course not, so that is very helpful to the potential patient reader. A regular mastopexy would not leave the tissue fused to mesh causing this type of deformed breast shape. That means that the Breform mesh product caused this defect. Breform product = defective. The surgeon gave no explanation of the poor outcome. Although he is "very experienced" with Breform, that level of experience is relative since very few Breform uplift procedures have been performed. It doesn't appear to have caught on. Also, how exactly would fitting the wrong size mesh explain hard fibroitic areas of tissue or tissue fused to the breast? That doesn't make any sense. So you think that the relevant authorities intervene right away when there is a defective product on the market? Try Googling "mesh" and "implant" and "lawsuit" and read about the people who had mesh hernia implants placed for years and years... and only now the horrible problems are in the spotlight. Patients posting problems with a product, just as I have, are exactly how word about a defective product starts to get out. Rosiclere, you have a quite curious interest in defending a mesh product. That's quite an odd response to a patient that is telling their story of being harmed by a product. Most regular women would express sympathy, or be grateful to someone sharing this information so they could avoid similar deformity. Hmm, I wonder what your motivation and role might be? You mentioned that my review raised questions. Please ask me about my experience. I would welcome the opportunity to answer more questions Rosiclere. It is so important to help other women make an informed decision. Don't you agree?
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Thank you for posting your photos! They are very telling.

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Wow never heard of this type of surgery. Thank you for making us aware of this.
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I'm sorry your results aren't what you'd hoped and that you may have to go through future revisions. If you'd like to post photos (which we encourage), please do that directly here in your RealSelf review rather than providing a link. Here's a brief tutorial on uploading photos.

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