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What is Lipofilling and How is It Used for Breast Reconstruction?

Can fat transfer techniques be successfully applied for breast reconstruction? Or are there better methods out there?

Doctor Answers (19)

Fat transfer techniques can aid breast reconstruction


Fat transfer is a useful tool to optimize breast reconstruction outcomes. I recently fat grafted a patient's TRAM flap to improve volume, projection and shaping of the reconstructed breast. Insurance will pay for 'revision of breast reconstruction' and patients benefit from the liposuction required to obtain the fat for grafting. That's a double bonus for the patient !

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Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Fat grafting


Fat grafting has been shown to be a reasonable ancillary procedure to "touch-up" monor irregularities with breast reconstruction.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Fat grafting and breast reconstruction


in general, fat grafting (removing fat from one area of the body and injecting into the reconstructed breast) is used to fill-in or refine areas of the reconstructed breast.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Fat grafting to fine tune results of your reconstruction


Fat grafting is a useful tool to fine tune the results from your post mastectomy results with either implants or using your own tissue (DIEP/TRAM).   Fat is removed from another area of the body using a liposuction technique and processed to be injected in tiny amounts to areas that need more volume.   I tell my patients that not all of the fat we inject will "take".  Therefore additional treatments may be needed.  The early results for fat grafting as an adjunctive treatment to post mastectomy reconstruction has been quite promising.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Fat transfer great for breast reconstruction


Fat transfer can be really useful in breast reconstruction for some patients. Obviously it is not possible to use fat transfer as the only means of reconstruction. Fat transfer is most useful for filling in smaller asymmetries that may still exist following your reconstruction procedures.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Fat transfer or lipofilling and breast reconstruction


Recently advances have been made in techniques to harvest and transfer living fat cells from patients and move them from one part of the body to another. Improving contour issues in breast reconstruction is one situation that fat transfer has an increasingly important role.

Most commonly, fat transfer is used to soften the interface between the edge of the implant and the surrounding tissues. Sometimes, the extent of the mastectomy is beyond where the implant will fill and a sharp stepoff is noted. Fat can be harvested from one part of the body (such as the abdomen, flanks, hips, or thighs) and prepared in such a way as to preserve the most living fat cells. These are then immediately injected into the tissues using special instrumentation that allows the fat to be deposited in small streams to increase the likelihood that the blood supply will grow into the fat tissue.

Sometimes, fat transfer can be used to increase the size of an autologous reconstruction (such as a TRAM flap or DIEP flap), or to correct localized contour deformities.

The use of fat transfer to correct post lumpectomy deformities, to enhance then size of a normal breast without using implants, or to creaste a breast mound without any additional need for tissue transfer or implants are exciting new frontiers that are currently being evaluated.

Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Fat grafting in breast reconstruction


Fat grafting is often used in breast reconstruction for two main reasons -

  • To correct the "shelf" that occurs between the chest wall and the upper pole of the implant
  • To correct contour irregularities around the implant (palpable ripples, thin areas of skin, etc.)

The fat is removed from another area of your body (abdomen, thighs, hips) and is processed to isolate the fat cells. These fat cells are then injected into the area you wish to fill. Depending on technique, a percentage (the higher the better) of this transplanted fat will "take" or live and thus correct the deformity. Sometimes, more than one surgery is required to correct an area.

Some insurance companies deem this procedure as "investigational" and will not pay for it. It is important to discuss this with your surgeon prior to undergoing fat transfer. Other options include using dermal fat grafts (leaving fat attached to skin and transplanting as a single unit) and dermal matrices such as Alloderm.

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Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Lipofilling or fat transfer can be very useful in breast reconstruction.



Fat transfer is not the primary technique in breast recostruction, but we often use it to add finesse and a more natural look AROUND the main reconstruction.

The main breast reconstruction is done with an implant or a flap. But there can be hollows or defects from the mastectomy around the implant or the flap. This is where filling in with fat injections can turn a good result into a great result.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Fat transfer in breast reconstruction

Fat transfer is a great procedure in breast reconstruction especially in the setting of a lumpectomy defect.  It also works quite nicely to conceal an implant that has little coverage if the mastectomy resulted in thin skin.  It can also be used for reconstructing a breast from "scratch".  This is less typically used as the skin does not easily stretch enough to accommodate this.  Multiple surgeries can be used to slowly increase size.  Some surgeons would suggest the Bravia system to be a solution to that problem.  The long and short of it is that you should speak to a surgeon that offers fat transfer as well as all other forms of reconstruction.  They will best be able to advise you on your options as well as the potential risks with each.
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Yes lipofilling or fat grafting can be used for breast reconstruction!

You can do the first session at the time of mastectomy by injecting the pec muscle with fat.  Subsequently you can use the BRAV to externally expand the tissue and perform fat grafting until the desired result is reached.  Also my colleagues in Europe place and expand and fill it to the desired volume.  Once that has been done then they simply add fat graft  while removing volume until the device can be complete removed.Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.

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