Cleveland Clinic pioneering life-changing breast cancer reconstruction

Patients receive tissue and nerve transplants from their own abdominal wall.

Cleveland Clinic pioneering life-changing breast cancer reconstruction
Patients' own nerves are transplanted from the abdomen to their breast. (Source: woio)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Mastectomy patients often struggle to feel “normal” again after they recover from breast cancer.

They suffer from numbness or lack of feeling in their breasts because a nerve is removed along with the tissue that contains the cancer.

But a team at the Cleveland Clinic is pioneering a new kind of reconstructive surgery that will restore sensation in the breast.

“We can see the improvements,” said Vice Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Plastic Surgery Department, Dr. Risal Djohan.

Microsurgeons, like Djohan are utilizing nerve grafts, learning from face transplant patients and even studying with 3D printed models ahead of the surgery.

“I seriously forget that I had cancer,” said mastectomy patient, Mariann Lotenero.

Tonight on 19 News at 11, I’ll share how they’re doing it and who is a candidate for such a transformative operation.

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