Understanding Resensation®:

Restoring sensation after a mastectomy

Having a mastectomy creates an immediate, noticeable impact on your life—both physically and emotionally. It can be hard to fully understand all the ways it will change your life.

A significant impact is the loss of sensation to the chest area. During a mastectomy, the breast tissue is removed, cutting the nerves that supply feeling to the breast and nipple. When nerves are severed, nerve signals are disrupted. This can leave the breasts with a total or near-total loss of sensation.

Numbness isn’t the only option. Incisions and stitches heal with time. But numbness and lack of sensation can be permanent—a constant reminder of what you’ve been through. With Resensation®, it’s possible to feel closer to normal after a mastectomy—to surrender one less thing to cancer.

Why does sensation matter?

Sensation is a vital function that allows us to feel touch, temperature and even pain. Sensory nerves send signals that allow us to feel, interact with the world around us and also help keep us safe.
Historically, sensory nerves were not repaired during breast reconstruction surgery, leaving women with limited to no return of sensation.

Though reconstructed breasts can achieve cosmetically desirable results, women typically cannot feel touch or temperature in the chest area after reconstruction.

To put it in perspective, think about the numbness you feel after a dental procedure. It’s uncomfortable and a little awkward. Now, imagine that feeling over a much larger portion of your body, knowing it will be permanent.

That’s why Dr. Manrique is one of the select surgeons in the U.S. offering the proven surgical nerve repair technique, Resensation, that can help women not only look, but potentially feel more like themselves again after a mastectomy.

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Why choose Resensation?

Resensation is a surgical technique performed during breast reconstruction that allows surgeons to reconnect nerves cut during a mastectomy using allograft nerve tissue. Over time, the nerve fibers regenerate, becoming a part of the woman’s own body. As the nerve fibers grow, they have the potential to gradually restore sensation to the breasts.

Are you a candidate for Resensation?

You may be a candidate for breast nerve repair surgery with Resensation if you are considering or undergoing breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy.
Each breast reconstruction journey is unique. Connecting with a plastic surgeon specializing in Resensation can help you determine timing and candidacy based on your desires, medical condition and cancer treatment.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    The importance of sensation

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    References

    1. Koçan S, et al. Body image of women with breast cancer after mastectomy: a qualitative research. J Breast Health. 2016;12(4):145-150. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5351438/. Published October 1, 2016. Accessed January 12, 2023.

    2. Faulkner HR, Colwell AS, Liao EC, Winograd JM, Austen WG Jr. Thermal Injury to Reconstructed Breasts from Commonly Used Warming Devices: A Risk for Reconstructive Failure. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016 Oct 27;4(10):e1033. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5096518/. Published October 27, 2016. Accessed January 12, 2023.

    3. What to expect after Breast Reconstruction surgery. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/reconstruction-surgery/what-to-expect-after-breast-reconstruction-surgery.html. Revised September 19, 2022. Accessed January 12, 2023.

    4. Axogen Corporation. More than skin deep: loss of sensation after mastectomy significantly impacts women’s quality of life. Axogen Corporation. 2021.

    5. Temple CLF, et al. Sensibility following innervated free TRAM flap for breast reconstruction: part II. Inervation improves patient-rated quality of life. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009;124(5):1419-1425. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181b98963.

    6. Cornelissen, AJM, et al. Sensation of the autologous reconstructed breast improves quality of life: a pilot study. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018;167:687–695.

    7. Crohan S, Campbell A. Breast sensations research report. Inspired Health. October 2020. Report on file at Axogen.

    8. Yano K, et al. Breast reconstruction using the sensate latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap. Plastic and Reconstr Surg. 2002;109(6):1897–1902.

    9. Grinsell D, et al. Peripheral nerve reconstruction after injury: a review of clinical and experimental therapies. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:698256. doi:10.1155/2014/698256.