Fat Injections After Breast Reconstruction with Implant on Radiated Breast
Doctor Answers 5
Risk of fat injection on irradiated breast
There are two concerns with your situation. One is blood flow compromise because of radiation, and as fat injections are done, there might be further interference of blood flow. This can cause a complication. Secondly, there may be an increased risk of infection because of your history, and if the fat injections compromise the sterility of the new implant, it may need to be removed. Speak to your surgeon about these good questions.
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Reconstruction of breast
I think you should finish your reconstruction. If you have enough skin, you could have an exchange for a permanent gel implant and a capsule release to allow for a more natural look. If you have any depressions after that, then a revision with fat injections would work well. During the exchange, you will probably need a collagen graft around the implant like Surgimend to decrease the complications that can arrise from the radiation you had.
Fat injections after breast reconstruction with implant on radiated breast.
At our Breast Reconstruction Center, we have utilizing this technique almost routinely to maximize the aesthetic outcomes after lumpectomy or mastectomy. We have utilized the micro-fat grafting technique, and have been obtaining maximal fat graft survival into the breast. After harvesting of the fat from areas with excess fat, usually the belly, hips, or thighs, the fat is processed and injected back into the breast using the aforementioned techniques. Our patients have been very happy with the results as well as the areas where the liposuction was performed. Contour has been much improved using the micro-fat grafting technique, and the downtime is minimal. Fat grafting has become a mainstay in breast reconstruction and has added another edge to breast reconstruction for aesthetics with minimal morbidity and complications.
Best wishes for a wonderful result!
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Fat injection after breast reconstruction
I think that fat transfers may well help in your situation. It is a useful technique to augment the coverage over implants and can be used in the irradiated breast.
I always worry about leaving an implant in when there has been infection though. I really do hope that it has all cleared up with the antibiotics, but I find that when you think that you have salvaged the implant, it can flare up again and need to be removed later.
I wish you all the best with your reconstruction.
Fat injection for Irradiated breasts
The interesting thing is that fat injection seems to reverse some of the effects of radiation. There are reports of fat injection helping to heal radiation related wounds, and I have seen this in practice in my own patients.
Fat also seems to improve breast capsules in several cases that I have used it. I don't think that we fully appreciate the benefits of fat grafting yet.
The thinking that is currently going around is that fat contains stem cells that may account for these effects.
I would not hesitate to use fat injection for irradiated breasts.
However, I still think that autogenous tissue reconstruction is your best bet. Either a pedicled or free flap TRAM flap would be my first choice.