Fat transfer to the buttocks and breast tissue are the hottest cosmetic surgery trend. I especially like the idea of fat transfer to the breast, because in certain individuals who only want a cup size increase this is a great procedure. I have also used it for patients after breast augmentation that may have very minor upper pole asymmetry. The fat transfer will improve the symmetry, without having to go under general anesthesia, and no implant exchange is required. This dramatically reduces the cost to the patient, with the same end result.
The obvious concern is whether the fat transplanted will mimic or mask breast cancer. Since some of the fat transplanted will die, this will result in calcifications in the breast. Any competent radiologist should be able to differentiate between this type of calcification and the cancerous type. However, it is important to realize, the threshold for doing further studies may go up, especially in someone with a strong family history of breast cancer.
A recent study, published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (January 2017, pages 11-18) is encouraging. This is a multicenter study, involving 3200 patients. The study found the risk of breast cancer recurrence was no different between patients who received traditional breast reconstruction versus fat transfer after mastectomy. Since these patients are already at higher risk for recurrence, the findings of this study is promising.
If you choose to have fat transfer to your breasts, I do recommend pre-operative studies, if there is a strong history of breast cancer in your immediate family or yourself, or you are 40 years or older. Annual examination is critical, just like any other female. It is also important to realize, there may be a lower threshold for additional study recommendation, which may result in breast biopsy.
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 17 years of experience. His office is located in Orange County, California. If you like to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call (714) 834-0101.
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