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BREAST FORMS ARE NON-INVASIVE ALTERNATIVE TO IMPLANTS FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD MASTECTOMIES, EXPERT SAYS

 TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- External breast forms are an important option for women who have had mastectomies in the light of inquiries into silicone and saline implant safety, according to a specialist in counseling these patients.
 External breast forms, little mentioned as an alternative to reconstructive surgery in the years when attention focused on the introduction of the gel and liquid implants, are of particular interest now because they are non-invasive, according to Johanna Ehmann, RN, an oncology nurse specializing in counseling mastectomy patients.
 "With these implants under Food and Drug Administration investigation because of safety questions, it is important for women to know that breast forms have been technologically improved to be both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable," says Nurse Ehmann, who is working with Coloplast Inc., the Tampa-based maker of the Discrene breast form, to heighten public awareness of their availability.
 While the FDA estimates some 200,000 women have had breast implants, Nurse Ehmann says breast forms have begun to receive more attention.
 "Breast forms offer a woman a way to achieve the natural look she desires without invasive surgery," she says, citing Discrene as an example. It adheres to a woman's chest wall by means of a skin-friendly adhesive. It weighs, feels and moves with a woman's body as a breast would, she says.
 The FDA inquiry into saline implants has been initiated on a similar basis as the one into the silicone gel implants, which are subject to a manufacturers' voluntary moratorium pending the outcome. It came after some patients were found to suffer from infections, hardening of scar tissue around the implant, ruptures, leakages and interference with mammography.
 "Under these circumstances, the breast form is certainly worth knowing about," says Nurse Ehmann, who works to help mastectomy patients overcome post operative physical and emotional traumas.
 A brochure on breast forms and Discrene is available by writing Coloplast, Inc., 5610 W. Sligh Ave., Suite 100, Tampa, FL 33634-4468, or calling 1-800-237-4555.
 -0- 1/19/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Nurse Ehmann is available for interviews/
 CONTACT: Lucia Aurello or Ellen R. Werther of Lobsenz-Stevens, 212-684-6300, for Colorplast/


CO: Coloplast, Inc. ST: Florida IN: MTC SU: PDT

GK-DO -- NYFNS1 -- 6095 01/19/93 07:30 EST
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Date:Jan 19, 1993
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