Fat Grafting to Replace Implants with Capsullary Contracture As a Result of Radiation?

2006 i had breast augmentation, saline under the muscle. 2011 diagnosed breast cancer and underwent lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation therapy complete by march 2012. six months ago had consult with military plastic doc who basically told me there was no hope due to risk capsullary contracture would return replacing the implant with a new one. I am really interested in fat grafting. Was wondering if I would be a candidate, the long term results and aesthetics.

Doctor Answers 5

Fat transfer

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part of the problem I see is that you are very skinny to start with and do not have a lot of fat on you.  If you wanted to completely remove the implant and replace with fat, you are looking at needing 300-400cc of fat to transfer, which means you probably need at least a liter of fat liposuctioned.  You might have that on you but it would require liposuctioning all over the place to get enough fat.  

Good Luck

Fat Grafting to Replace Implants with Capsullary Contracture As a Result of Radiation?

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Yes but only very few PSs are able to preform this type of surgery now. Best to seek them out and have IN PERSON evaluation. 

Breast reconstruction options

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Radiation and implant encapsulation then requires something different. Fat injections may help create a small breast for you.  Autologous tissue using a latissimus with an implant  may help.  A perforator flap reconstruction may be helpful as well as an option.

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

Fat grafting is the ideal option in the face of radiation.

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One of the most common situations I encounter in my fat grafting practice, is complications as a result of radiation. In the face of radiation, the rate of capsular contracture and recurrence is extremely high. Fat grafting is an excellent option to replace your implants, as long as you will be satisfied with smaller breasts than you presently have.  You should also understand that replacing your implants with fat grafting is a process, not a single procedure, particularly for the right side where the tissue has to be progressively restored with fat grafting. The fat is not grafted into the existing space, rather into the tissues between your implants and the skin. The implants are progressively decreased in size at each stage. The long term results and esthetics are excellent, as long as you would be comfortable with smaller breasts than you have presently with implants. Fat grafting is the ideal procedure to restore damaged and irradiated tissue.

Fat grafting not a good option

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In the face of previous radiation therapy there is a real chance of a recurrent capsular contracture.  Fat grafting would not be an option since you have a large space to fill into the void left by the implant.  You could consider reconstruction of the radiated breast with the interposition of Alloderm or Strattice to help decrease the risk of another recurrence. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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