Fat Grafting for Full Breast Reconstruction?

Hi In 2012 I had fat grafting done with stem cells and a second one done with fat grafting alone and removal of an implant. One side of my breast is still really hard and I massage the area every day with a hand held machine for 10 minutes. It softens and then in the morning it is hard again. I am six months out. When will it fully soften?

Doctor Answers (5)

Fat Necrosis


This area of previously grafted fat may represent fat necrosis.  Fat necrosis is an area where that fat that was grafted has died and scarred (hardened).  Sometimes this area may have some fluid (liquefaction).  If there is no improvement over the next month or two then this area should be removed.


Dr. ES

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Fat Grafting Success Rate


Sounds like some of the fat didn't make it.  Survival of the fat depends of the amount grafted and how healthy the location is prior to grafting.  Smaller increments tend to survive better.  If the tissue is thin and lacks adequate blood supply, it won't be able to handle large amounts of fat...which then turns hard.  It may take up to year for it to soften more, but at some point, if it doesn't soften, it may need to be removed. 

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Fat grafting and hardness


The hardness may represent fat necrosis but shoudl be evaluated to make sure it is nothing more serious.  Good luck.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Hardening after Fat Grafting to Breast


The hardened area may represent fat necrosis (or death). Six months after the procedure, if the area remains hard it may not resolve on its own and therefore will likely need to be removed especially to avoid complicating cancer surveillance. 

New Jersey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Fat graft to the breast


the hardness 6 months after fat grafting to the breast could be swelling or fat necrosis. Only by physical examination and some times mammogram we can reach an accurate diagnosis.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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