This past weekend, I went to New York to visit the headquarters and processing plant of MTF (short for Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation). MTF is a non-profit company specializing in producing human allografts – any bone, ligament, cartilage, tendon or section of skin commonly used in many reconstructive procedures. These allografts come from donors – people who die in accidents or from sudden illness – and many times, just one donor’s special gift can help a lot of people.
In regards to plastic surgery, donated skin is used to help burn victims and is also used in women undergoing breast reconstruction. For some time now I have used allografts in many of my breast reconstruction patients. Using these allografts helps in covering tissue expanders and breast implants and helps to make a more natural-looking breast. MTF discussed their standards for donation and gave examples of how they have improved upon their techniques of processing the grafts and how this has translated into better outcomes in breast reconstruction patients.
With Breast Cancer Awareness month having just finished, it was interesting and encouraging to see how the medical industry continues to make advancements to help our breast cancer patients.