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Designed, according to the manufacturer, specifically to support and lift the drooping breast without the need to use a breast implant, the Breform™ Internal Bra System mesh will also permanently counteract the undesirable recurrent ptosis (drooping) of the breast after mastopexy (breast lift) or breast reduction surgery.
The name Breform™ is derived from the words "breast" and "reform".
It was launched in the UK in 2009 and is distributed by CloverLeaf Medical Ltd.
Breform™ is made from a knitted, multi-filament polyester mesh which is said to be strong, yet soft and cannot be felt under the skin when in place.
Such polyester products have been safely used in surgical procedures for over 40 years and are considered to be non-toxic, non-allergenic and non-biodegradable within the body.
Breform™ is designed to create lift, and to support the breast tissue from the inside, as if you were wearing an invisible, internal bra. It is most likely to be used as part of a breast lift or breast reduction operation (rather than as a stand-alone procedure, although this is possible).
Following a surgical incision, made either around the areola (circular brown part of the nipple) or using an upside down ‘T’ shaped incision following in a line directly below the nipple and under the breast, the Breform™ device is placed into the fatty layer of the breast and anchored at various strategic points with sutures to both the breast muscle and chest wall in order to hold it firmly in place.
Breform™ has 5 standard sizes (see diagram below which shows 4 options for illustration) which the surgeon can choose from based on an individual’s requirements, although the product can be trimmed to fit by an experienced surgeon without compromising it as the edges are not sealed in any way.
In general Breform™ is used at the same time as performing breast lift, breast reduction and breast reconstruction surgeries under a general anaesthetic, although it can be performed as a stand-alone surgery. In the case of reconstructive surgeries, such as following mastectomy, it is used to balance the shape of the healthy breast which may droop compared to the reconstructed breast which is likely to contain a firmer silicone or saline implant.
It is ideally suited to women with medium ‘droopy’ breasts attributed to age, gravity, weight fluctuations and breast feeding.
Very large breasts are unlikely to be adequately supported by the mesh implant and a breast reduction procedure would be recommended in addition to the Breform™ in patients with a cup size over a D-cup.
The manufacturers note that in order to achieve optimal results candidates should be post child-bearing, be at their ideal and stable weight and be non-smokers or willing to give up for a period prior to surgery.
(Please note: the pictures shows the Breform™ implant overlaid on top of the skin of the breast simply to illustrate its composition and how it would fit when in place underneath the skin).
The Breform™ Internal Bra System has European CE Mark approval and is manufactured in France.
Those surgeons trained in the technique and use of the product only.
The manufacturers recommend that a surgical support garment specifically designed for the breast region, such as a specialist bra or breast stabiliser garment is worn for 6 – 8 weeks after surgery.
All surgical procedures carry inherent risks, such as the possibility of infection and the risks of general anaesthesia.
The manufacturer reports no cases of extrusion of the product following the surgery.
They also state that it is highly unlikely that further surgery, (which is often required with standard breast lifts where gravity may affect the lift over time) or replacement of the product will be needed in the future. Although, long term data is lacking to show just how long this would be true for. There should also be no future droop in the breast following the procedure providing there are no excessive weight gains or losses.
It is also claimed that the expected scarring which is normally produced with breast lift and breast reduction surgeries is greatly reduced by using the Breform™ Internal Bra System alongside the surgery as the support that it offers reduces the effects of gravity and pressure on the scars and allows them to contract more significantly as they heal over time.
It is recommended that you do not fall pregnant following Breform™ implantation as it is unpredictable how much the breast size may increase during pregnancy which could jeopardise the results achieved by the procedure. The manufacturers note however that the device will not affect the lactation function of the breast should a patient fall pregnant following implantation.
They also note that it poses no interference with future breast screen examinations, mammograms or lump removal procedures for cancer treatment.
In general the cost of the Breform™ Internal Bra System will add an additional £1,000 - £2,000 on top of the surgical cost of a breast lift, breast reduction or breast reconstruction operation.