As a leader in the field of breast surgery, Dr. Bruce Van Natta has spent the last 30 years searching out new technologies and techniques for delivering better results for his patients. His goal with this website is to share his knowledge of soft tissue support in surgical procedures with his fellow plastic surgeons in the United States and abroad, and to help educate patients. It’s easy to place an implant in a patient with strong breast tissue and skin. But what do you do for the woman who doesn’t have enough support for her desired outcome? Until recently, the choice was either to place a smaller implant or live with the reality that this patient would eventually need revision surgery. Now, however, a surgeon can place a piece of absorbable scaffold to create what is more or less an internal bra of support for the implant.
This internal bra is a game changer, particularly in revision breast surgery.
Correcting soft tissue malposition has long been a trouble area in plastic surgery. It has also been a focus of Dr. Van Natta’s practice. Over the years, he has tried a wide range of different absorbable scaffolds including:
- SERI – multifilament silk
- TIGR – combination of multifilament PGLATMC/PLATMC
- Vicryl – multifilament PLGA
- ADM – dermal matrix such as Alloderm & Strattice
- Galatea Scaffolds – poly-4-Hydroxybutyrate (P4HB)
Benefits of Galatea Scaffolds with P4HB
A strong advocate of soft tissue support in general, Dr. Van Natta now exclusively uses the Galatea Scaffolds collection due to the many benefits of P4HB. The goal of any soft tissue support is to make the breast tissue stronger so that the implant remains in its proper position over time. While the initial strength of the various absorbable mesh products vary depending on their materials and manufacturing, the key with any support mesh is its strength retention over the healing period. P4HB has an initial tensile strength that exceeds many of its competitors, but more importantly, it retains 50-70% of this strength at 4 months post operatively, and provides wound support for up to 52 months.
Other benefits of the Galatea Scaffold collection include:
- P4HB is a naturally occurring biopolymer in the body so the mesh is easily reabsorbed gently over time
- low rate of infection (Dr. Van Natta’s rate is zero)
- does not stretch so delivers long lasting results
All of these benefits lead to a better outcome for the patient.
Galatea Scaffold Collection is Versatile
The Galatea Scaffolds Collection also comes in a wide array of sizes and shapes, making it incredibly versatile. Clinically, Dr. Van Natta uses absorbable mesh for:
- breast augmentation
- breast augmentation revision
- capsuloraphy/pocket reinforcement
- synmastia repair
- lateral malposition
- fold asymmetry
- mastopexy or breast lift
- breast reduction
In the future, absorbable mesh may be used in buttock augmentation after massive weight loss, abdominoplasty and facelift procedures. In short, plastic surgeons have only just begun the scratch the surface when it comes to the potential of the Galatea Scaffolds Collection.
STS.com Helps Shorten the Learning Curve
The goal of this website is to help shorten the learning curve for adding soft tissue support in surgeries to improve outcomes and help avoid secondary surgeries and complications. It contains videos with extended versions of some of Dr. Van Natta’s breast procedures with soft tissue support. These videos help to explain some of those techniques or best practices about which he is often questioned. There are also short versions of the major procedures for a quick review as well as video FAQs. In addition, Dr. Van Natta has broken his instructional video course into segments, allowing you to address each procedure individually.
While the Galatea Scaffold collection caries a general soft tissue support indication from the FDA, the use of all scaffolds is considered “off label”. The FDA has currently not given any support material a specific indication for use in the breast. Dr. Van Natta encourages his fellow surgeons to make their patients aware of this fact, and has included his informed consent language to use as a template. Please note that this consent form was written by him, not an attorney, and is certainly not perfect. Furthermore, all of the information contained on this site is not endorsed or directed by any company.