Ask a doctor

Is Fat Grafting The Right Choice For My Breast Reconstruction?

On Sept 28 2011 I had a DIEP Flap procedure performed. I had a bi-lateral Mastectomy due to breast cancer. Underwent Chemo and Radiation. After the DIEP Flap procedure my Dr told me that I needed two sessions of fat grafting. I have read that your body can reabsorb the fat. I am on the thin side to begin with and dont have alot of fat to work with so am wondering if fat grafting does not work if a implant can be put in? My right breast has a hard lump I was told its fat necrosis and will go away

Doctor Answers (7)

Fat grafting is a great way to refine breast reconstruction results


Fat grafting is an ideal way to use your own tissue to improve the breast reconstruction result.  The breast reconstruction with a flap due to the shape of the flap doesn't completely reconstruct the breast to the previous size and shape.  Using small amounts of fat graft removed from the abdomen, thighs, of other areas can significantly improve the size and shape of the breast reconstruction result to better match the native breast.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Fat grafting for revision reconstruction


Yes, fat grafting is an accepted technique and can improve the contour of your breast.  Yes, some of that fat may be resorbed and you may need more than one session.

You may also ask your surgeon if you are a candidate for an implant.  Both implants and fat grafting can be more difficult on the side of radiation because the implant has a higher chance of developing a hard and/or painful scar and if you have poorer circulation from radiation, not as much fat may successfully survive.

Also, if you do indeed have fat necrosis, it may or may not soften and go away over time.

Discuss these details with your surgeon. Best of Luck.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Is Fat Grafting The Right Choice For My Breast Reconstruction?


Fat grafting in breast reconstruction is a newer reconstructive option. There are very few surgeons offering this technique. Best is to see one. I think it is just beginning to be accepted. I use the "layering technique" of Dr Syd Coleman. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Fat Grafting Can Improve Shape and Size


Fat grafting can improve shape, contour irregularities and fullness of the breast after reconstruction.  Unfortunately not all of the grafted fat will survive and some will reabsorb.  Even with overcorrection it is common to have to repeat fat grafting.  It sounds as if your doctor has offered a very reasonable plan, and I would not rush to have an implant placed.  



New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Fat grafting and breast reconstruction


Fat grafting is used commonly in breast reconstruction to improve the look of the breasts and to correct minor deformities. Its use in cosmetics surgery is gaining popularity but still in its early phases and long term results are been evaluated. The concept of having a flap reconstruction with a DIEP flap is to use your own tissue and avoid the need for implants!!! But if needed it is possible to place implants later (6 months or longer after the reconstruction with the flap !

Good Luck!!!!

Web reference:

Coral Gables Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Is fat grafting for breast reconstrucion effective?


Fat grafting is a powerful tool in breast reconstruction. Even in thin patients, a good amount of fat can be obtained for grafting. It is ideal for shaping and enlarging in both breast reconstruction and breast cosmetic procedures. The amount of fat survival ranges between 50-80 percent. Implants can also be placed after a TRAM or DIEP reconstruction, but would wait at least 6-12 months before proceding.

Web reference:

El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Fat grafting after breast reconstruction


Fat grafting can sometimes help fill areas that the flap could not. This helps with overall contour, but because fat grafting does not take 100% this often has to be repeated.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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.