Breast Injections Safe for Patients with Breast Cancer History?

I have a history of breast cancer in my family so I have concerns with breast implants. I've heard of injections that you can get, which seemed better especially since I only want to increase my breast size at one cup and make them fuller or rounder. Is this safe?

Doctor Answers 7

Injections for Breast Enhancement

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The only product that could be injected for breast enhancement is fat. Fat grafing is gaining in popularity in the US. However, to do fat grafting well takes small liposuction cannulas, patience and good patient selection. Most surgeons using fat for breast enhancement don't do this so the result is absorption of most of the fat. This leaves an irregular result with little enhancement.

Stick with proven methods-breast implants. They are safe and reliable.

Breast Enhancement- Implants or Injections

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In your particular case I would likely recommend implants over injections. You didn't mention what was going to be injected....I will assume you are talking about fat(don't even consider getting liquid silicone as an "injection").

There are numerous scientific studies that support the fact that there is not a difference in survival or detection of breast cancer in patients with implants.

Fat injection into the breast is not really new, it has had a recent resurgence and some early results for small volumes may be promising. Although the current thought is that injected fat likely does not interfere with cancer surveillance- I'd like a longer history of observation before recommending it.

If you choose to have breast enhancement with implants and you do the recommended surveillance you should not be at any increased risk.

John E. Gross, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Breast injections are still experimental

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There has been a resurgence of interest recently in breast enlargemnt by injections of fat, but the idea has been around for a long time. Newer techniques hold some promise that it could work, but it is experimental at this time. As the other replies have noted, you are much better off screening for cancer with implants than with injections. You should also know that although implants can theoretically interfere with detection by getting in the way with mammograms, studies have not found that cancers are being missed or diagnosed at a later stage. So go with implants, under the muscle.

Breast augmentation and breast cancer

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There has not been a relationship ever demonstrated between breast implants and breast cancer. It is just as important for a woman to continue with monthly self breast exams and annual mammograms for women with breast implants as those who don't.

I encourage patients with a family history to have the implants placed partially under the muscle to assist the mammographers in the future. Regarding breast injections for augmentation with your own fat, this is far from mainstream yet although preliminary studies are showing that when it is done by someone who is highly skilled in fat transfer, it can be accomplished. The concerns are that fat that does not survive the transfer can develop into a scar yield calcium deposits. Although the studies try to support that these calcifications look different than those formed with breast cancer, it is not enough assurance for me to offer this form of treatment.

This is a very important question you should discuss to your comfort level with your plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

Implants only

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Implants are safe. Your breasts can be examined and you can have mammography and ultrasound. I would NOT reccomend injections. I do not believe that they are safe.

Breast implants and fillers

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If you have a family history and you anticipate the need for early detection if something is to develop (and who wouldn't be), then breast implants actually would be safer in the long run than any type of injection. The difficulties in defining early breast lesions in patients with implants can be overcome with modern techniques, but the fillers may induce changes that may not be able to be defined by radiologic techniques.

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants are safer than injections

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There was never a proven relationship between breast cancer and implants. The question was always the ability to detect early cancer with the presence of implants. Modern imaging studies enable us to detect even the smallest cancer. A sub muscular implant placement will make this detection much easier.

Breast injections with different materials are much more controversial. Silicone injection is a no-no and will induce inflammatory reactions in the breast that could be very difficult to treat. Fat grafting is still a controversial technique. The possibility of fat necrosis and resulting abnormal mammograms will only increase the number of breast biopsies. You will be much better off with an implant.

Hope that helps!

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.