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New device helps breast cancer survivors prep for reconstruction‎

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A new device is making it easier and less painful for women to prepare for breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy.

The device is called an “AirXpander.” It’s implanted into the woman’s chest, and then she uses a remote control to release small amounts of carbon dioxide, which expands the tissue and muscle. That air creates space for a breast implant.

The traditional prep for breast reconstruction involves months of saline injections to stretch the skin and muscle. It can be painful and require many trips to the doctor. This experimental treatment could change all that.

“She can do it through her clothes, she can be at work, she can be at home, she presses a little button and it releases a small dose of compressed CO2,” says Dr. Jeffrey Ascherman from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “She can do multiple small doses during each and every day. She has the potential with this to complete the process much more quickly.”

Right now, the “AirXpander” is still in clinical trials but the company expects to apply for FDA approval by the end of the year.

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