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New Brava reconstruction method

Reikigemgirl's picture
Reikigemgirl
Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi all,

I am trying to decide which surgery to have for my breast reconstruction. There is a fairly new method that was described to me where you use a suction cup that you wear for 10 hours a day (or while you are sleeping) that stretches the skin out and then it is filled with fat from your own body that they get from liposuction. I am looking for information regarding it. I am trying to decide between it and the tram flap procedure. I was told the Brava is going to be the next big thing in breast reconstruction and I would be part of a study since it is so new. A physician in Miami has been doing it for three years now. His name is Dr. Khouri. It is called the Brava method.

Is there anyone on here that has used this method?

Thanks in advance,
Vicki

mariam_11_09's picture
mariam_11_09
Posts: 693
Joined: Nov 2009

hi,

I have not undergone this procedure but from what I understand is that you do not need to undergo a second surgery for this (the procedure can start immediately after reconstruction0 and fat is removed from various parts of the body not just the stomach as in DIEP or TRAM flap. Nor are muscles used as in TRAM flap. Both these surgeries are long and take time to recover from. However with the Brava (again from what I understand) is that it is a procedure that is done over a period of 3 or so months. The large the breast the longer the time taken.

I am also not sure what happens when you don't have a nipple sparing mastectomy and what the is done to recreate one. I assume this would require another surgery. Also from what understand is that you cannot have it if you have already undergone radiation. Nor is it clear what would happen should you undergo radiaton after you have this procedure. With the TRAM and DIEP flap there is often shrinkage after radiation.

It certainly looks interesting and promising. I would also like to hear if someone else has undergone this.

ps: I had a single mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap. If I had to have a double, I would not have been able to have DIEP flap recon as I did not have enough fat on stomach (never mind the copious amounts of fat on my butt, thighs and hips) so this would have been a great option.

Reikigemgirl's picture
Reikigemgirl
Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 2009

Mariam,

Thanks for your reply. I know how they do the nipple. They do it right in the physicians office so another surgery is not needed. They make incisions and then twist it and it makes a nipple. They tattoo the aerola on then in the physician's office too.

I didn't have radiation so that is one reason that I am a good candidate for this method. Also, you have to be a non smoker so that the fat will adhere when it is inserted into the cavity that the brava machine creates. Nicotine inhibits that.

I have done TONS of internet searching and reading about it and am almost certain that is the way I am going to go. Insurance pays for all of it except for the brava machine. That is $1,000.00!!!!

You wear the machine at night for 10 hours for a few weeks and then three weeks before your liposuction you wear it 24 hours a day and then you wear it for 3 weeks, 24 hours a day right after you have the fat injected. They get the fat from liposuction of your own body fat.

It has been a year since I had my masectomy. I still have my left breast and want something that will look natural.

I would love to hear from someone who has had this procedure done to see just how good it worked.

Thanks for your reply and the information. Glad the DIEP flap worked well for you. My other option is the tram flap procedure because I have already decided that I don't want implants of any kind. Silicone or saline.

Have a great day today,
Vicki

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

This sounds very interesting. From what I have read about liposuction fat used in the face to increase volume, not all of the fat lives and they go back a couple more times in order to get the desired effect. How do they handle this with the brava procedure?

Reikigemgirl's picture
Reikigemgirl
Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 2009

That is one of the questions I have for the RN who is going to call me tomorrow to answer some of the extra questions I have. How many times they inject the fat? I would imagine it would depend on how big you wanted the new breast to be. From what I have read on the website, they have very little fat that dies with this procedure but I do know that they go in and take the dead fat out if you have any. Like a lumpectomy. I believe it is called fat neurosis when it dies. Thanks for your reply and when I get some more answers, I'll post them.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I've never heard of this procedure, but, it does sound interesting. Good luck to you Vicki in whatever you decide to do.

Lex

Reikigemgirl's picture
Reikigemgirl
Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 2009

The nurse told me today that I would have to wear the Brava machine for 10 hrs. a night for 3 weeks and then the next day wear for 3 days straight. After that third day you get your liposuction from your belly ( she told me that is best place to get the fat from) and then they inject it into the pocket the Brava machine made. If you want to be bigger than you turn out - you go through the same steps all over again. It sounds dooable and I am leaning towards this method as opposed to the tram flap procedure.

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

This procedure is new to me too. Thanks for informing us that it even existed.

Good luck!

Reikigemgirl's picture
Reikigemgirl
Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 2009

on the fat grafting while using the Brava machine. I go in this morning to be measured for the domes that fit over your breast that provide the suction and to have my before pictures taken. My surgery is on 3/25 and he will do a breast lift on my remaining breast, liposuction on my belly to get the fat to use for the fat grafting on my masectomy side and then will inject it. I am his 4th patient to pick this method. He has done two fills and they went well. He explained it like a clock. Where each number is on the clock, he will inject my fat into my skin that has been stretched out by the Brava machine. One person dropped out of the study because she couldn't stand wearing the domes that come with the machine. It takes 3 weeks for the machine to come after they take the measurements. The doctor was great and I feel very comfortable having him do the procedure. I will update regularly during this whole procedure. He is the only doctor in my area who is doing this procedure and I feel blessed that I was referred to him by my general surgeon. I'm excited about the whole thing.

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

I will be watching for your updates! I bet you are excited! Good luck!

dealdale
Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2011

I too will be watching for your updates.
I just today learned of the procedure. Two years ago my DIEP surgery was cancelled and I have been hesitant to take this leap again. I rescheduled with my surgeon who is soon to begin the trial procedure in our location as my understanding this is is not yet approved in the US.
Are you working with someone who is under the same guidance and study that Dr Khoury from Florida has set up?
I am curious to know what it is like to sleep with this bra and how it feels.
I wonder if one can do their day job with such a devise?
Good luck and my best wishes and thoughts will be with you.

Reikigemgirl's picture
Reikigemgirl
Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 2009

my plastic surgeon went to Dr. Kouri's seminar and met 4 of the people that have had this procedure done and got to evaluate them before deciding to offer it himself. I am in a study because the machine is not approved by the FDA yet but they say, it is just about ready to be approved. Because it isn't FDA approved yet, I had to pay cash for the machine ($1000) but all of the other surgeries are paid for by insurance. I am having liposuction on my chin and belly to get the fat to inject into the space the machine makes in my breast for the fat grafting, my remaining breast lifted (so it will match the new one), fat grafting on my masectomy side. Not sure how many times I will have to go through this procedure to get the desired results. We will just have to wait and see how big I am after the first grafting.

I can't answer any of the questions about wearing the bra because I don't get mine until this coming Friday, the 4th. Then my surgery is three weeks later on March 25th. I will write about it as soon as I have worn it. The domes you wear that supply the suction are big so I don't think you could wear it during the day to work. I am to wear it 10 hours a night for 3 weeks and then for 3 days straight up until the day of surgery. Then put it back on for 3 more days the day after surgery. If I need another fat grafting, then this procedure starts all over again.

I am excited about it all and will keep everyone posted on how it all goes.

Love and Light,
Vicki

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

I can see you are excited and your sisters in pink are excited for you Vicki!

Wishing you the best of luck and keep us updated!

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