Fat Grafting for Breast Reconstruction. Is There Any Alternative?

Im on the thin side and I underwent a DIEP flap procedure in September of 2011 after a bi-lateral masectomy. I had a 2nd surgery to put implants in both breasts because there was not enough fat to finish both breasts. Im sadly not finished I still need one more surgery with more fat grafting but my question is is there another option besides fat grafting to fill in the voids that were left? Bigger implants? I have no more fat to spare nor am I willing to do another fat grafting session

Doctor Answers 3

Breast reconstruction is a process

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Breast reconstruction is a process and often requires multiple steps to achieve your goals.  You have undergone bil DIEP flaps and then had implants placed. To fine tune your results, fat grafting is a reasonable option.  Please keep in mind that there are some limitations of what can be achieved.  Remember, your plastic surgeon is restoring your breasts post-mastectomy.  Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

Breast reconstruction and fat grafting

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Unfortunately, breast reconstruction is a process.  Many times, it is very difficult to achieve the desired result with just one surgery; and depending on each individual patient, multiple procedures in small stages may be required to achieve the best result.  


It sounds like you are very thin (and it is difficult to say what is necessary without a consult).  But I can say that a larger implant may not fill the voids that fat grafting can fill because when a mastectomy is done, all of the tissue upto the clavicle is removed (breast tissue goes to the collar bone or clavicle).  This will frequently result in a hollow area on the top part of the breast which can best be contoured with fat grafting.


I would suggest that you discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.  But also, I would encourage you to be patient -- breast reconstruction can take time to achieve the best results.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast Reconstruction

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It is difficult to answer your question completely without examination and seeing how much and where you need the filling.

Surely fat grafing to the breast can be an option, but you may need wnough fat and multiple fat grafting sessions.

The other option is a latissmus Dorsi flap. However this is a slightly more surgery and will put a scar in the Bra line on the back.

A change to  form stable implant, and combination of the other two options is a possibility.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore 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.