Breast reconstruction surgery could be even safer and produce more realistic results in the future due to a new clinical breakthrough.
Scientists at the Queensland University of Technology have developed a technique which uses computer aided design (CAD) to produce a mould of a healthy breast that can then be implanted, allowing the structured growth of new tissue.
"Previously the surgeon would do everything by eye and feel. With the mould they have a physical template to check out the exact shape and tissue volume needed for the reconstruction surgery," said professor Dietmar Hutmacher, who conducted the project.
There could be further implications for the technique, as the process has also been used to create biodegradable 3D scaffolds and Professor Hutmacher hopes the technology will be mainstream within five years.
According to Macmillan, breast reconstruction surgery is normally conducted simultaneously with mastectomy procedures and the surgeon aims to ensure that the new breast is similar in shape and size to the existing one.