Cosmetic Surgery Today

Plastic Surgery News, Costs of Cosmetic Surgery and Elective Procedures Blog

Study Supports Repurposing of Body Fat for Breast Reconstruction

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on April 30, 2010

As more effective fat grafting and fat transfer procedures are developed and researched, plastic surgeons are setting their sights on body fat repurposing procedures as an alternative to implants.

A small study conducted by researchers of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that cosmetic breast reconstruction in slim, athletic cancer patients without enough fat elsewhere in the body, is effective with a certain fat transfer technique.

Plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported results of their procedure in the online version of the Microsurgery journal after reviewing results on cadavers and 12 breast cancer patients over the course of a year.

Ariel N. Rad, M.D., Ph.D., one of the assistant professors of cosmetic surgery and plastic reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explains “when implants aren’t used, the most common technique for reconstructing breasts after a mastectomy is to make breast tissue from a flap of fat and skin from the abdominal region…thin, athletic women don’t have enough tissue there. But even they often have some excess fatty tissue in the space between the hip and waist. For them, using those love handles is a new option.” (Source: Medical News Today)

The fat grafting procedure is  relatively simple process, and involves removing several milliliters of fat from an existing fatty pocket, sterilizing it, and separating the fluid to extract stem cells and pure fatty tissue. The pure fluid is then re-injected into the body in the desired areas, and it typically only takes a few days for the body’s tissues to adapt.

Surgeons who have tested this procedure have been able to achieve good cosmetic results.  If the patient is a good candidate for the procedure, the overall effect can improve the contour and shape of the waist and hip area.

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