Advantages and Disadvantages of Fat Transfer

Providing the Best in Natural Breast Reconstruction to Orlando & nearby areas of Florida

To summarize the advantages and disadvantages of fat grafting; the major advantages are that fat transfer is a 100% outpatient procedure that uses only your own fat removed with gentle liposuction to build a breast in an almost scarless fashion. The procedure is essentially done only with needles to remove and inject the fat so only tiny incisions for the needles are required. The complication rate of fat grafting is extremely low when compared with other breast reconstruction and augmentation procedures. The only drawback of fat transfer is that only a limited amount of fat can be grafted into the recipient tissues at any given time, and there is some variability as to the final amount that survives the grafting process.

For breast augmentation patients who want a larger augmentation with a very reliable prediction of the final size, breast implants may still be preferable, but for those who do not want implants for any reason, fat transfer is an excellent alternative, as long as they are prepared to accept some variability in terms of final size. Occasionally breast augmentation patients may choose to do a second fat transfer procedure for more size. Fat transfer can also be combined with implants, to provide not only a larger augmentation, but also improved tissue padding over the implants, less palpability of the implants or rippling, and also improved shape, symmetry and better cleavage.

For breast reconstruction patients, staged procedures are usually required. For a full mastectomy patient, this may be 3-5 fat grafting stages, or more if the tissues have been irradiated. Fat transfer can frequently be initiated at the time of the mastectomy for an 'immediate' small reconstruction. For lumpectomy patients the number will vary from one stage for small defects to 3 or more for larger defects and irradiated tissues. Fat transfer has major benefits to restore the quality of damaged, scarred and irradiated tissue.

So despite this concept that fat may require multiple procedures for the final result, it is the only technique that is essentially scarless, uses no implants (unless desired in addition to fat), is 100% outpatient with very low complication rate, and does not require major tissue flaps with significant hospitalization, complication rates, and often extended recovery. In addition fat transfer is the only procedure that can restore the quality of damaged, scarred and irradiated tissue, and also the only procedure that has been reported to restore sensation to the skin in mastectomy patients.

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Winter Park, FL 32792