Fat Grafting (Lipofilling)
Fat grafting is a fairly new technique in breast surgery. Fat is liposuctioned from one part of the patient's body, purified and then injected into the breast.
Fat grafting can be used to fill-in partial breast defects after lumpectomy. It is also frequently used after mastectomy, usually in conjunction with other reconstructive techniques, to optimize the breast contour and improve overall cosmetic results.
There are several fat grafting techniques that are used by plastic surgeons. There is no "set way" that has been shown to be the best in terms of long-term results. However, studies have shown that regardless of the technique used, the collection, storage, and transplantation of the fat cells and the fat stem cells must be optimized to obtain the best long-lasting results.
Studies have also shown that once the injected fat "takes", it can also help improve the thickness and quality of radiation-damaged tissue and skin.
Regardless of technique, some of the injected fat will be reabsorbed over time but this can vary depending on the exact clinical situation. Patients must therefore be prepared to require more than one procedure for the best results. Your surgeon will be able to discuss this further with you during your consultation.
Several independent studies that have evaluated patients over a few years after the procedure have shown that fat grafting is safe. However, because the technique is fairly new, no long-term safety data is currently available.
Unfortunately not all insurance companies cover the cost of fat grafting so the procedure can involve out of pocket expenses for some patients.
To learn if you are a candidate for fat grafting or to schedule a consultation to learn more, please contact us here or call us on (800) 692-5565.