Historically, plastic surgeons have struggled to deliver long-lasting results to patients with breast skin and tissues that have failed. Weight gain/loss, pregnancy, and general aging can all have an adverse affect on the breasts, causing them to stretch and sag. To correct this, procedures such as mastopexy, or a breast lift, aim to lift the breasts back to a more youthful position on the chest wall. While this can be extremely successful, unfortunately it relies on the quality of the skin and tissues to be lifted. If they’re already weak, lifting them won’t make them any stronger, and sooner than later stretch will happen again.
That said, a solution has seemingly been found: the “internal bra.” Dr. Bruce Van Natta of Indianapolis, IN sits down with his fellow breast surgery experts Dr. William P. Adams Jr. of Dallas, TX and Dr. Jason Pozner of Boca Raton, FL to discuss how the GalaFLEX absorbable mesh is making it possible to deliver exemplary results for these historically difficult to treat patients.
GalaFLEX Mesh is a Game Changer
Breast surgery continues to reign in popularity as it has the ability to dramatically transform a woman’s torso. Creating breasts that are lifted, perky, and the appropriate size can make the waist look smaller and the abdomen appear flatter. More importantly, breast surgery procedures boost self-esteem. Talk to any woman who has had a breast reduction and the first thing she will mention is how much more comfortable and confident she feels in her skin.
As a breast surgery expert, Dr. Van Natta loves performing these procedures for exactly this reason. But one of the more vexing problems that he and his colleagues have faced in the past is that when doing a breast lift, reduction, or breast lift with a breast implant, it can be difficult to deliver long-lasting results when they are dealing with tissues that have failed. “We haven’t had a good answer” for these patients, explains Dr. Van Natta – until now. GalaFLEX is an absorbable mesh or scaffold that is proving to be an absolute game changer.
GalaFLEX Creates an “Internal Bra”
GalaFLEX is what many term “soft tissue support,” or an implantable device – usually some variant of a mesh – that seeks to provide support internally. GalaFLEX is so revolutionary because it offers what Dr. Adams likes to call the “Holy Trinity”:
- monofilament construction
- predictable absorption
- 95% incorporation
Made from P4HB, a naturally occurring biopolymer in the body, GalaFLEX works by inducing the body to create an internal scaffold of support. The plastic surgeon places the mesh during your breast surgery and the body begins to produce its own collagen that weaves in and out of the mesh. After roughly 18 months, the original GalaFLEX dissolves, leaving a hardy structure of the body’s own tissue, often compared to an “internal bra.”
Why is GalaFLEX Better?
Soft tissue support devices like GalaFLEX are not new. There is a wide range of absorbable scaffolds available to patients including:
- SERI – multifilament silk
- TIGR – combination of multifilament PGLATMC/PLATMC
- Vicryl – multifilament PLGA
- ADM – dermal matrix such as Alloderm & Stratis
What makes the Galatea GalaFLEX scaffolds preferable to many surgeons is that they are made of poly-4-hydrozybuterate (P4HB). Not only does P4HB have an initial tensile strength that exceeds most of its competitors, but it retains 50 – 70% of this strength at 4 months post-op. This allows plastic surgeons to do things that they’ve never been able to do before.
Giving Strength to Compromised Tissues
“We all know what happens with gravity,” says Dr. Adams. A patient comes in with breasts that are sagging due to:
- breast feeding
- weight gain/loss
- hormonal fluctuations
“They have crappy skin,” adds Dr. Pozner. “These scaffolds have been really invaluable in treating these patients.” Before GalaFLEX, the surgeon would perform a lift and/or put in a breast implant and 6 months later, the patient would be back in the office complaining that her breast were droopy again. “It wasn’t a problem with the surgery, it’s just that their skin and tissues didn’t have the support necessary to hold up the implants.”
Once Dr. Pozner started using GalaFLEX, and now GalaFORM, a three dimensional option compared to the original “two dimensional” sheet, it completely changed his outcomes. Today, he won’t do a lift with an implant without using this scaffold. “I already learned the hard way,” he shares. “I know what’s going to happen if I don’t use a product.”
GalaFLEX Has a Proven Track Record
The other huge benefit of the GalaFLEX line of products is their predictability. “We have ten years of usage,” explains Dr. Adams. There are over 3 million people who have had GalaFLEX mesh utilized as part of their procedures. “There is a huge history of safety with the product,”
One of the things that patients always ask Dr. Pozner is whether this mesh is something new. They are anxious about trying something that doesn’t have a proven track record, but P4HB has been around for a decade and he personally has used it extensively. This history makes patients feel comfortable trying. With this product, “we finally have a means for maintaining the results that we achieve on the table for the long term,” says Dr. Van Natta.