Breast Reconstruction Via Lipofilling After Lumpectomy?

Is it possible to restore a breast after a lumpectomy using lipofilling? I had a large amount of tissue removed from the top part of my breast. I don't want Breast implants, but would like to have breast asymmetry.

Doctor Answers 7

Breast reconstruction via lipofilling after lumpectomy?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! Fat grafting has become a popular procedure to improve aesthetic outcome following breast reconstruction or for improvement of contour after lumpectomy. Much of the newest research has investigated the properties of fat, in terms of its stem cell properties and associated advantages. It has significantly ameliorated radiation damage by increasing vascularity. Also, it adds additional "fatty tissue" atop the reconstructed breast mound to further contour any concavities or deformities, while also masking implant visibility with rippling and such.

The decision to have the procedure performed once again will be on you - if you are happy with the results thus far. It is true that some of the fat does resorb (survival rate of fat grafting is 50-80%). 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. It typically takes up to a year to see vascularization of the area, which will ameliorate some of the radiation damage present. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Lipofilling Lumpectomy Defects

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If you had a lumpectomy, then it is reasonable to assume that you had radiation to the area as well.  Because of this, the vascularity of the area is not as good as it should be, meaning that injected fat may have a hard time surviving in the area.  In these cases, you often need some rearrangement of the tissue internally along with an implant, or some type of flap to add more volume.

Lipofilling for breast lumpectomy defects

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Fat injections were strongly frowned upon several years ago because of concerns about mimicking breast cancer and clouding detection. There has been a resurgence in interest in recent years and many surgeons are doing this. The smaller the defect the better. A large defect may need a latissimus flap for example but this is much more surgery. Make sure you go to someone who has experience in all methods so you can sort out the best choice for you.

Breast reconstruction with fat injections.

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1)  It all depends on the exact deformity.

2)  But fat injections can be a simple and safe way to reconstruct a localized breast deformity after lumpectomy.  It is so much less surgery than a flap.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Lipofilling for breast reconstruction

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 Lipofilling has been the rage lately in the press and at the plastic surgery meetings.  In most cases for breast reconstruction, autologous tissue transfer as a free flap or pedicled flap are usually the best way to go.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Fat injection breast reconstruction after lumpectomy

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Fat injections are increasingly being used for breat reconstruction with acceptable results. There are some downsides associated with it including the probable need for multiple procedures. You can also have a muscle fat flap from the back and obviously implants.

It has been my experience that smaller defects respond well to injections depending on the amount of scar tissue present. Larger defects are more difficult to treat in this manner. You may also wish to consier a reductio on the opposite side to match the volume.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Fat injections to the breast

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This is an old idea that is getting a resurgence in interest. Post-lumpectomy partial defects are sometimes quite problematic. Depending on your specific situation, fat injection or flap reconstruction or attempts at rearrangement of existing breast tissue can be contemplated, They all have pros and cons that you need to discuss with your surgeon. Fat injections is highly controversial since there is unpredicatability of survival of the grafts and risks of cysts and lumps forming that may confuse cancer detection in the future, although some surgeons and radiologists dispute this. Approach this technique with caution and full information.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills 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.