Aug.1, 2005 | A plastic surgeon from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) was one of only two foreign speakers invited to the recent 21st Regional Brazilian South Congress of Plastic Surgery.
Julio Hochberg, M.D., professor of surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine, discussed his groundbreaking work that is offering breast cancer patients a more satisfying and less painful outcome during a recent meeting of plastic surgeons from three continents held in May in Gramado, Brazil. The conference drew almost 500 surgeons from around
“The opportunity to present at this conference was quite an honor,” Hochberg said. “It was a chance to talk about the exciting techniques and services we can offer our patients and the successes we are having.”
Hochberg talked about the scope of his recent work, including the total skin-sparing mastectomy technique he uses, the use of Botox to reduce pain after mastectomy and – most recently – his successful work with AlloDerm, which uses donor human tissue, in reconstructive surgery. Hochberg uses AlloDerm in breast reconstruction surgery as a replacement to tissue lost in a mastectomy and to provide additional support for the remaining muscle.
Hochberg noted that UAMS is one of the first facilities to use AlloDerm as part of breast reconstruction. The substance has been widely used for skin grafts, cosmetic procedures and other reconstructions.
“The use of AlloDerm saves time in the recovery process and patients report less pain and fewer complications,” Hochberg said. “Plus, the cosmetic results are excellent. Our patients have been very satisfied with the procedure and the outcome.”
In September 2005, Hochberg will present his success with AlloDerm at the annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in Chicago (caution: link includes graphic surgical photos). Using AlloDerm provides better support for the tissue expanders used in breast reconstruction. The study also showed that using Alloderm led to fewer complications, which can include exposure of the implant, accumulation of blood serum (seromas), inflammation or discomfort.
Hochberg was co-author of a 2004 UAMS study that showed injections of Botox, known for removing wrinkles, could also be used for reducing pain and spasms during breast reconstruction after mastectomy. The study found that women injected with Botox after the surgical removal of their breasts had less pain and shorter hospital stays during reconstruction with tissue expanders. Tissue expanders are temporary implants placed beneath the chest muscle and slowly inflated over several weeks to stretch the tissue in preparation for permanent saline implants.
Many years ago, women with breast cancer had to face the prospect of a radical mastectomy, the removal of the skin, muscle and the entire breast. Hochberg said research by the Breast Team at UAMS headed by Suzanne Klimberg, M.D., director of breast surgical oncology in the Arkansas Cancer Research Center at UAMS and a professor of surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine, led to improvements that allowed doctors to save as much of the breast as possible without increasing the risk of cancer redevelopment.
Also, the skin-sparing technique makes it easier on women with a history of breast cancer who want to voluntarily have their other breast removed.
Links on This Page
Botox Reduces Pain After Mastectomy, UAMS Study Finds: http://www.uams.edu/update/absolutenm/templates/news_release_liz.asp?articleid=2366&zoneid=86
AlloDerm in Breast Reconstruction with Tissue Expansion: http://asps.confex.com/asps/2005am/techprogram/paper_8226.htm
© 2004 University of