Improving the quality of life of breast cancer survivors.
Every year, more than 2.8 million women undergo breast surgery. Based on the number of breast cancer diagnosis and statistics of tumor resections, we estimated that in 2017 approx. 956,000 women worldwide underwent reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy or a lumpectomy (i.e. total or partial breast removal, respectively) and ~226,000 breast surgery revisions have been performed. According to the International Society of Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), breast augmentation represents the world’s leading aesthetic surgical procedure, with ~1.65 million operations performed in 2016. The most commonly used technologies for breast tissue defects are silicone or saline implants. These prostheses are not lifetime devices and need to be substituted over time, leading to high costs for the healthcare stakeholders and significant pain for the patients. Moreover, silicone implants do not represent a solution for patients who are eligible for a breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) since they are not customizable based on the defect size.