As a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon with over three decades of experience with breast reconstruction procedures, I fully understand that surgery is a unique and deeply personal experience for each and every individual. Breast cancer patients hold many options when it comes to their breast reconstruction journeys.
While some may elect to undergo breast reconstruction surgery immediately after breast cancer is removed, others choose to wait until another time following a mastectomy based on their overall treatment plan. There are a multitude of options for breast reconstruction surgery including tissue flap reconstruction, DIEP flap, latissimus dorsi flap, acellular dermal matrix, and fat transfer—a unique option from the others, though all are effective for the right patient.
Through years of refining my breast reconstruction techniques, I have found fat transfers to be beneficial in accomplishing and improving the ideal results of breast reconstruction. For example, let’s examine TRAM flap reconstruction, which uses skin, fat, blood vessels and muscle from the abdomen, back, thighs or buttock to replenish breast tissue that has been removed. Fat transfer can be used to supplement a TRAM flap procedure and other reconstructive options to provide smooth, natural-looking results. Fat transfers work by removing fat using liposuction on areas of the body such as the abdomen, buttocks, or thighs, then re-injecting into another area of the body once purified. Patients benefit from the combination of fat transfer and breast reconstruction because it requires less steps in the surgical process and reduces potential risks as the breast is composed of a patient’s own material.
I frequently travel to world-renowned plastic surgery conferences to learn about and discuss the latest breast reconstruction techniques and emerging technologies. I, along with many reconstructive surgeons, find fat transfers to be one of the most significant breast surgery advances in the past decade and recommend them to the appropriate patients. If you are interested in learning more about breast reconstruction options, please contact me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott, to schedule a consultation. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest plastic and reconstructive surgery news and information.