and whats the results?
Is Brava an Alternative for Women Having a Mastectomy?
Doctor Answers 7
BRAVA breast reconstruction and insurance coverage
While the BRAVA system has been used for breast reconstruction (combined with fat grafts), the procedure and equipment may not be covered by some insurance plans. If it is not covered by insurance, then the cost of the BRAVA devices may need to be paid by the patient. The subsequent fat grafts are more likely to be covered. If considering BRAVA for your breast reconstruction, check with your surgeon and insurance plan about costs and coverage.
Using BRAVA for Breast reconstruction
Three basic forms of breast reconstruction exist. You can use your own tissue, implants or a combination of the previous two techniques. Your own tissue can be used in the form of the DIEP flap, PAP flap, SGAP flap or fat grafting. Implants can be done in one stage or two stage. Two stage reconstructions are started by placing expanders at the time of mastectomy. Once they expanders are placed they are able to be inflated as determined by wound healing. The final time consists of combining any of the above techniques.
If you are interested in being seen in Austin please give us a call. I know this is a difficult time for you. The majority of my practice is devoted to reconstruction for women with breast cancer or who are BRCA+
Brava, fat grafting and mastectomy
You may be wondering if fat grafts can be used for mastectomy reconstruction. The bad news is, the mastectomy needs to be performed first - the fat graft cannot be placed at the time of the mastectomy. At least not while I'm answering this question now in 2013. If you have had a mastectomy, fat can be injected under the skin to give you a breast. This can make a decent reconstruction, but it often takes more than one surgery. BRAVA was developed to try to pre-expand the breast and make more fat stay. The jury is still out on that, but it seems to hold some promise of increased fat take. The BRAVA has never been covered by insurance, but the fat grafts usually are.
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The use of Brava and fat injections/transfer/grafting following mastectomy
Recently the use of Brava PLUS fat grafting, transfer or injections is an option for women following mastectomy.
Brava is a system like suction cup that expands the tissues from outside and recruits tissue to help creat a breast and add some volume in small breasted women. It is not used for reconstruction.
No, Brava won't be sufficient
Brava is a system for minimal breast enlargement that takes 6 months to use daily for 8-12 hours,is uncomfortable and costs almost as much as a breast augmentation.
For breast reconstruction, you will need to have either an expander and later an implant,or using your own tissue from your abdomen,back or buttocks to construct a flap. Speak with your plastic surgeon about your options
Brava and Mastectomy Reconstruction
The Brava is a modern retooling of an old SEARS catalog breast enlargement device. By wearing it for a few weeks the skin is suctioned forward making the tissues underneath it engorge with blood vessels which in turn can be a favorable place which may better support fat grafting. Fat grafting for breast enhancement is in its infancy and several protocols are being advanced without as yet supportive scientific evidence.
If you WILL be having a mastectomy you can get a MUCH better result if your breast surgeon cooperates with a Plastic surgeon (incision planning, conservation of the breast fold etc). Reconstruction can be with a local tissue flap, a tissue expander followed later by a breast implant OR if a skin sparing mastectomy can be done an immediate reconstruction with a breast implant. You need to have a progressive breast surgeon and plastic surgeon who are willing to work together not only to get rid of the tumor but to assure you the best cosmetic result.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.