Dr. John D. Murray
Reconstructive Breast Surgery
Breast reconstruction with transplanted fat should be performed only by trained plastic surgeons and warrants close follow-up.
A large study suggests that transplanting one's own fat to reconstruct the breast after mastectomy or lumpectomy is safe for women who have undergone breast cancer surgery, as sited in the August issue of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery®, the official journal of the board certified member organization American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Transferring fat to reconstruct the breast, so called "lipofilling," after breast cancer surgery leads to a low complication rate and does not affect the radiologic follow-up after breast-conserving surgery, according to Dr. Jean Yves Petit at the European Institute of Oncology, Milano. The most common treatment for breast cancer is lumpectomy with or without radiation and chemotherapy. Traditional reconstruction of post mastectomy patients today is the use of implants and or distant flaps. These procedures require multiple staged operations, prolonged recoveries and are very costly. As an alternative autologous fat grafting may be performed in 2 or 3 short non-surgical sessions with minimal down time and at a fraction of the cost of traditional techniques. An added benefit is that excess fat in unwanted areas may be removed as a positive side effect.