Is It Possible to Transfer Breast Tissue from One Breast to the Other?

Doctor Answers 10

Breast tissue transfer

Practically speaking the answer would be no.  It isn't that is couldn't be done but it would require microsurgery to transfer the blood supply along with the tissue soi it stays alive and this would be prohibitively expensive. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Unwise to even consider transfer of breast tissue from 1 side to the other

Technologically, this may be possible. However, as you have read by the multiple informative responses by the other plastic surgeons, there is no reason to do this, it would present with potential oncological risks (cancer), you would deform the donor breast and there are other options. If you are seeking a small amount of volume/deformity correction, fat injections would be reasonable.

Seek an opinion for your problem from a borad certified plastic surgeon.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast tissue transfer

It would be great to transfer breast tissue from one to the other, but technically this would be  predicament with breast cancer.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Technically possible but not advisable

It is possible to perform breast enlargement by fat grafting (taking fat from another place on the body).  It would be better to take that fat from your abdomen or legs. Fat grafting is a new technique for breast augmentation and so far we have seen changes in mammograms which are easily identified as benign (not cancerous) but this has not been studied long term.  If you are young, you don't have much fat tissue in your breasts - they are more fibrous so it is difficult to use the other breast as a donor site for fat anyways.  Good luck!

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Transfer of tissue of from one breast to the other

Although this may be technically possible (wrpt  fat grafting), we do not recommend this because of the oncologic consequences.  If you have breast cancer in one breast, there is always a chance of cancer in the other breast.   Hence, not a good idea to transfer tissue from one breast to the other.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Possible, but not advisable for oncolgic reasons

There are many operations in the realm of plastic surgery that are technically possible to perform, but do not fulfill practical considerations. This would be one of them. Apart from the technical challenges involved with this operation, there are also the oncologic factors that must me considered. Since breast tissue always harbors the ability to transform into breast cancer, you would not want to transfer it to any other part on the body.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast Tissue Transfer

This is not a practical consideration.  However, fat transfer(from other sites of the body) to the breast is a hot topic of discussion  in plastic surgery.  Although frowned upon in the past due to the possibility of fat necrosis and the possibility of interfering with breast cancer detection, it is gaining more acceptability and may become commonplace in the future

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Is It Possible to Transfer Breast Tissue from One Breast to the Other?

Yes it is possible. BUT why would this be done??  Maybe you want to lipo the one breast to use the fat for transfer to the smaller breast??? Interesting idea. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Using one breast to reconstruct the opposite (contralateral) breast

Although conceptually it can be done it is not performed in practice. Rarely there is a salvage flap called the Cyclops flap(From the greek monster with one eye in the middle of the forehead because there is one  nipple in the center of the chest ) has been used for reconstructing radiation induced damage.  Nipples and areolas are also commonly shared. Otherwise breasts are not really used for reconstructing the opposite breast.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Transferring breast tissue from one breast to another

Although technically, it would be possible to transfer breast tissue from one breast to another, it is generally not a good idea to do so. Putting technical reasons aside, the primary reason not to transfer breast tissue from one breast to another has to do with the risk of breast cancer; increasing the risk of breast cancer is not justifiable when there are alternatives. 

Reconstruction of a breast after mastectomy with natural tissue can be accomplished through time-proven methods of reconstruction using fat from other part of the body. For example, a DIEP flap transfers fatty tissue (and when necessary, skin too) from the abdomen to the breast. The fatty tissue of the DIEP flap is warm and soft, and though not functional as breast tissue, looks and feels like natural breast tissue. Because the tissue is not breast tissue, there is no risk of increasing a woman's risk of breast cancer with such a procedure. Similarly, fat grafting can be used, in certain situations to provide increased volume to a reconstructed breast.

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.