A new technique designed to restore sensation after a mastectomy
What is Resensation?
Choosing to have a mastectomy can be a life-saving decision for women facing breast cancer. But after the surgery, women are often dismayed to find their chests are numb. During a mastectomy, nerves that provide sensation to the breast are severed when the breast tissue is removed. When nerves are severed, nerve signals are disrupted. This can result in numbnesss and permanent loss of sensation to the breast area, even if a woman has breast reconstructive surgery afterward.
Traditionally, the goal of breast reconstruction has been to provide the four “S’s” to the newly restored breast: size, shape, symmetry and softness. Resensation has the potential to add a fifth “S” – sensation.
Resensation is an innovative surgical technique that gives women the possibility to restore sensation to breast tissue after a mastectomy. It is an additional step that can be performed during free flap (autologous) breast reconstruction, which uses your body’s own tissue to create soft, natural-looking breasts.
Breast neurotization with Resensation makes it possible to reconnect the nerves in your free flap with those in your chest using allograft nerve tissue. The allograft nerve is used to bridge the gap between the nerve endings of the free flap and the chest. The allograft provides a scaffold to support regenerating nerve fibers, offering the opportunity to regain sensation.
Up until now, reconstructive surgery has focused more on appearances and creating a breast that looks natural. With Resensation, women now have the opportunity to not only look – but potentially feel – more like themselves again.
By enabling women to sense temperature, light touch and deep pressure in their reconstructed breasts, Resensation has the opportunity to change the paradigm for what women can expect after mastectomy and autologous breast reconstruction.
Who is the ideal candidate for Resensation?
You may be a candidate for Resensation if you’re undergoing a free flap (autologous) breast reconstruction after mastectomy, whether as part of your breast cancer treatment or as a prophylactic step.
The Resensation technique can be performed with any autologous flap, whether tissue is taken from the abdomen, back or thighs. It can be done at the same time as mastectomy or at a later date.
Breast neurotization with Resensation is not possible for women who have implant reconstruction. However, it can be part of a secondary reconstruction surgery to replace implants with your body’s natural tissue.
To learn more about Resensation and how neurotization works, visit our How page.
Resensation is an innovative surgical technique that gives women the possibility to restore sensation to breast tissue after a mastectomy.
Breast neurotization with Resensation makes it possible to reconnect the nerves in your free flap with those in your chest using allograft nerve tissue.
With Resensation, women now have the opportunity to not only look – but potentially feel – more like themselves again.
AxoGen: An established leader in peripheral nerve repair
Resensation was developed by Axogen (AXGN), a global leader of innovative solutions for peripheral nerve injuries for over 10 years. Our team is dedicated to providing surgical solutions to restore nerve function and quality of life to patients with damage to peripheral nerves in the hands, arms, legs, feet, tongue, jaw – and now, the breasts.
With the introduction of Resensation, Axogen offers a solution that enables plastic surgeons to potentially restore sensation in the breasts of women undergoing reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy.
How Resensation® helped one mom feel her daughter’s touch.
Jane knows how to persevere proactively through the unexpected. When she and her husband experienced fertility issues—they decided to use a surrogate. When a routine mammogram discovered tumors in both breasts—she chose to get a double mastectomy.Read More
Expanding the Scope of Breast Reconstruction to Include Sensation: An Interview with Dr. Warren Ellsworth
We’ve started trying to restore sensation for women who are undergoing breast reconstruction using their own (autologous) tissue. I most commonly do this during DIEP flap reconstruction, which is when I take skin and fat from the abdomen to create new breasts. I form the abdominal tissue into a flap and move it to the […]Read More
Reconstructing Breasts That Look and Feel Great: An Interview with Dr. Jules Walters III
Dr. Jules Walters, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New Orleans, was not satisfied that his breast reconstruction patients had to deal with a lifetime of numb breasts. Wanting to find a solution, he began incorporating Resensation into free flap breast reconstruction. “I want to offer women the chance to not just have reconstructed breasts, but […]Read More