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Fat Grafting to the Breast

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

At a recent meeting of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne, Australia there was a lot of discussion about transferring fat to the breasts as a way of reconstruction after cancer and as an alternative to breast implants. Even more discussion occurred recently at the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery meeting in New York.

Recent studies have shown that fat transfer to the breast can be done safely. Some surgeons are transferring fat in multiple sessions and, in this way, are able to provide quite a large volume. This is especially useful for breast reconstruction.

Reconstructing a breast following mastectomy is usually done either with breast implants or by the transfer of fat attached to a muscle from the abdomen or back. The transfer of fat in this way is quite a significant operation requiring hospitalization and associated with many side effects.  So it is no wonder that surgeons are very excited by the idea of transferring fat by injection as an out-patient procedure.

So who should consider fat grafting to their breasts. The first group is women who would like breast enlargement but would prefer not to have an implant.  It is possible to build a beautiful breast with fat alone and patients are generally very happy with the result.

The second group is women who have had part or all of their breast removed and would like a reconstruction.

Plastic surgeons are still unsure whether it is the fat cells or the stem cells which surround them that are more important.  There is usually a change in the quality of the skin under which fat is injected – especially in patients who have had radio therapy.  In patients who have had scarring due to radio therapy, the injection of fat under the irradiated skin results in softening and improvement in the overlying skin texture. We believe this is due to the stem cells transferred with the fat.

Of course fat grafting to the breast provides women with the second advantage of liposuction.

So if you have excess fat on the hips or tummy and would like a one or two cup size increase in the size of your breast then liposuction with fat grafting to the breasts may be for you!

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