What Are the Benefits of Using Fat Injections for Breast Reconstruction?
Posted on: October 10, 2019 in Breast Reconstruction
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Breast reconstruction is something that no woman wants to confront. Unfortunately, it is a sad realization for far too many. Breast reconstruction improves the patient’s level of self-esteem and quality of life.
Breast reconstruction rebuilds and resculpts the breast/s after mastectomy or other breast cancer treatment.
What Are Your Reconstruction Options?
Depending on the specifics of your cancer treatment, breast reconstruction can be performed immediately following your mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or further down the line (delayed reconstruction).
One is not significantly better or safer than the other—it comes down to personal preference.
One method of reconstruction is through fat transfer or fat grafting.
In these methods, fat is harvested from regions of the body (such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, or back) through liposuction. The fat is then purified and injected back into the breast to restore fullness.
Some fat may be absorbed, so your results may alter slightly. If this is bothersome to you, you may benefit from a touch-up treatment.
An additional method of breast reconstruction is the flap method.
The flap method is when a piece of tissue is harvested from the body and relocated to the chest to build the breast.
The most common area of tissue harvesting is the abdomen.
Another method of reconstruction involves the placement of implants, just like those used in breast augmentation.
Reconstruction implants can be any type of implant, and one (saline or silicone) is not inherently better than the other.
While there are pros and cons to each treatment option, many of Dr. Halpern’s patients prefer using breast reconstruction with fat injections to rebuild the breast. The main reason is they have undergone multiple cancer surgeries as well as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and they would prefer a minimally invasive surgery with relatively small incisions and minimal downtime.
What Are the Benefits to Fat Grafting?
Easier On Your Body
The flap method requires tissue to be removed from the stomach, back, or other areas. This involves invasive surgery on two regions of the body rather than one.
Liposuction harvests the fat comfortably, and most patients only experience mild bruising and swelling and relatively small scars.
Less Possibility of Complications
While implants are safe, there is still the possibility of implant complications down the line.
These include implant rupture, capsular contracture, implant displacement, or the rejection of the implant.
Because the fat belongs to you, your body will not reject it.
Your fat contains stem cells, which can improve skin quality and minimize the appearance of the scars.
Neither of the other methods can reduce the look of post-surgical scarring.
Breast reconstruction with implants only addresses the breasts. Reconstruction with flaps removes tissue but does not contour the harvesting site.
Only breast reconstruction with fat transfer rebuilds the breast while sculpting and contouring the other regions of your body.
Quicker Recovery Period
Regardless of when flap or implant reconstruction is performed, there is a recovery period of several weeks.
The recovery period for fat injections is much shorter because it is less-invasive.
A Natural Feel
Following mastectomy and cancer treatment, many women choose breast reconstruction so they can feel like themselves and improve their level of self-esteem again after their rigorous fight.
The fat used for injection is soft to the touch and will feel natural to you.