Flanked by the two surgeons she credits with saving her life, 53-year-old Rhonda Bayrami, of Whitestone, Queens, spoke passionately today about the revolutionary breast reconstructive treatment she recently received at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park – while she was administering the treatment in real-time.
The former gymnast, who now works as a personal trainer for private clients, was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 17. She and her surgeon, Alan Kadison, MD, a surgical oncologist at Northwell Health, agreed that her best chance for a longer life was to undergo a bilateral mastectomy.
During a media event to explain Ms. Bayrami’s life-altering treatment, Dr. Kadison revealed that during the surgery (performed on April 26), he discovered that his patient was already in Stage 3 of the dreaded disease.
Understanding that Ms. Bayrami was eager to undergo breast reconstruction surgery, Dr. Kadison referred her to Neil Tanna, MD, associate program director of plastic surgery at Northwell. It was Dr. Tanna who proposed the use of a new tissue expander system known as AeroForm.
“Via a hand-held wireless dosage controller, patients can comfortably and quickly release 10cc of carbon dioxide up to three times a day to gradually inflate the expander,” said Dr. Tanna. “This system offers two key benefits: no more painful needles or multiple trips to the doctor’s office, and most important, the patient can choose how often and when to dose.”
The first significant innovation in breast reconstruction in over 40 years, AeroForm is a needle-free, patient-controlled, wireless remote-controlled tissue expander system, said Dr. Tanna.
“I truly believe this technology will impact how we deliver breast cancer care to women,” said Dr. Tanna. “And when you consider that each year, more than 100,000 women in the United States have a mastectomy to remove a cancerous breast, with approximately 43 percent opting for reconstructive breast surgery, this is a tremendous development. But, most important, this technology allows women who are their most vulnerable to re-engage themselves actively in their own care. It is truly a revolutionary development.”
Ms. Bayrami, while demonstrating the hand-held device, could not have agreed more.
“I personally consider the Aeroform procedure to be a lifesaver, and I want to thank these two wonderful surgeons who saved my life,” she said. “I’ve devoted my entire life to health and wellness, so this news came as a shock to me – just as it shocks every woman who receives a diagnosis of breast cancer.
“I am so grateful to these surgeons who saved my life,” said Ms. Bayrami. “And, to the person who invented the Aeroform tissue expander – I love you.”
# # #
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and about 3,900 physicians, including more than 2,800 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.