Does Fat Transfer to Breasts Interfere with Mammography?

Hi, I recently received a benelli lift with implants (I exchanged 350 cc implants to 250 cc implants - I wanted to go smaller) and the physician put some fat around a portion of the breasts. Does fat transfer to breasts interfere with mammography?

Doctor Answers 7

Does breast fat grafting change mammograms?

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Thank you for your question. It is obvious that fat grafting causes changes that are visible on mammograms. There is increasing evidence that those changes are equivalent to changes seen from other breast surgery, such as breast reductions. They are able to determine the differences between post operative calcifications and breast cancer changes. It does not make sense to cite mammographic changes as a reason not to fat graft. Best of luck!

Dhaval M Patel. 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Fat Transfer and mammogram

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The imaging technology has improved leaps and bounds and so too has the ability of radiologists to detect benign scarring after surgery and breast malignancy.

Prior to fat grafting becoming popular again women would undergo breast reduction surgery and other breast procedures (which cause much more scarring and fat necrosis than fat grafting.) In these cases radiologist could still differentiate between tumour and scar.

The important thing for you is that the fat grafting to camouflage implants is done either in a subcutaneous or subglandular plane, and not directly into the breast tissue. So should there be any suspicious lesions they will be away from the glandular tissue.


Hope this helps.

Fat transfer and mammography

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Fat transfer can cause differnt changes on the mammogram that a trained radiologist should be able to differentiate from a cancer.

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

Fat transfers to the breasts do not interfere with the detection of malignancy on mammograms.

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Fat injections can be detected by mammography but are not confused with breast cancer. Fat grafting for breast augmentation is for the moment unconventional.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Does fat transfer affect mammography

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In a word, yes. When fat is transferred, some of the fat lives and some of it dies.  When the fat dies it can become calcific.  A good mammographer can tell the difference between calcific fat and breast cancer but the current literature is mostly based on smaller volumes of fat transfer.  The Jury is still out on what will be seen on large fat volume (breast augmentation) transfers.  Certainly the technique used in the fat transfer can also change the amount of tissue that survives.

David Janssen, MD, FACS
Oshkosh Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Fat transfer and mammography

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This is a very interesting topic.  While it seems that fat transfer does indeed make some mammographic changes, these changes are no worse than the changes one might see after breast reduction surgery - a very routine and accepted surgery -  and an experienced radiologist can usually sort these out, without a problem.


All the best,

I Had Surgery 4 Wks Ago to Removal a Capsule and Have an Augmentation?

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The fat does not interfere with mammography per se (while the implants themselves do), but there can be changes in the fat that are visible on the mammogram. It would be most unusual, though, for the mammographer to have trouble making a benign diagnosis or the common changes that can occur. 

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle 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.