Breast Reconstruction with Implants and Fat Grafting

By Ravi Tandon, M.D. on October 24, 2018

Before and after breast reconstruction surgeryAt Tandon Plastic Surgery, achieving natural results is one of our primary concerns. Whenever we strive to meet the needs of the patient, that is when we feel that we have done the best possible job. This is particularly important to consider during procedures such as breast reconstruction surgery, when results should appear as natural as possible. Metairie, LA plastic surgeon Ravi Tandon M.D. works closely with each patient to tailor the procedure to their needs.

To achieve the most natural results, various treatment options may be considered. For some patients, using breast implants in combination with fat grafting yields excellent outcomes. Let’s consider this breast reconstruction procedure briefly below.

Breast Reconstruction with Implants

Using breast implants is just one option for rebuilding a woman’s breast during the breast reconstruction procedure. Whether performed at the time of a mastectomy or delayed for after the mastectomy, the surgery involves placing a breast implant into the breast pocket in order to restore the shape and fullness of the breast. Tissue expanders may be needed to create space for the implant.

While the technique is effective, it can lead to problems with breast asymmetry and results that don’t quite look natural. That is where fat grafting can help.

How Fat Grafting Works

Also known as fat transfer and microlipoinjection, fat grafting involves the extraction of body fat from one part of the body to be placed into another part of the body. This is achieved through liposuction. The removed fat is run through a centrifuge to purify and isolate fat cells. These fat cells are then injected into the treatment area to add volume and fullness.

By using a patient’s own body fat to fill out injection sites, more natural body contouring results can be achieved. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) notes that among members who perform fat grafting, 88 percent of these surgeons have used the technique for breast reconstruction procedures.

Ideal Candidates for Fat Grafting

Good candidates for fat grafting tend to have some extra fat that they would like to have removed from some part of the body. Typically this means the abdominal area or the buttocks. If a patient is very thin or does not have sufficient excess body fat, they are not an ideal candidate for this procedure.

Combining Implants and Fat Grafting

When combining breast implants and fat grafting, surgeons will use the transferred fat to help fill out the reconstructed breast. This helps achieve more natural breast contour as well as natural breast texture and feel. The amount of fat used will depend on the need of the patient and the implant used during the reconstruction procedure.

Fat Reabsorption and How to Deal with It

Following fat transfer, some of the body fat will be naturally and harmlessly reabsorbed into the body. While this has no adverse health effects, it might impact the appearance of the breasts following breast reconstruction. If this occurs, an additional fat transfer can be performed to help add more volume and shapeliness to the breast following fat reabsorption and maintain initial results.

The Results of Implants and Fat Grafting

The results of combining implants and fat grafting during breast reconstruction can be exceptional. Patients will have a more natural breast contour thanks to the fat grafting, and the overall appearance of the breasts will be quite natural. In addition, the fat transfer can help add greater volume and improved aesthetics to skin and breast tissue that may have been damaged during radiation therapy.

Contact Tandon Plastic Surgery

To learn more about breast reconstruction surgery and how it can benefit you, be sure to contact Tandon Plastic Surgery. We are here to help you. You can reach our practice by phone at (504) 455-1000.

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