Who is a good candidate?
Good candidates are patients that have often completed their reconstructions after mastectomy or lumpectomy. Patients who have undergone mastectomy and reconstruction with implants often have areas of “implant rippling” where the implant is visible underneath the skin. Dr. Schwartz can transfer fat from your abdomen or legs to help camouflage implant rippling. Other patients may just have some contour irregularities or an area of thinned out skin where some additional fat may help. Fat transfer can be performed after mastectomy and reconstruction with implants or your own body tissues. In some patients who have had just part of their breasts removed (lumpectomy) followed by radiation therapy, fat transfer can help address deformities of the breast that develop. In some patients who undergo delayed breast reconstruction, fat transfer supplements your own tissues or an implant to improve the appearance and add volume to the reconstruction.
Consultation and Procedure
During your consultation, Dr. Schwartz will evaluate your individual case and formulate a treatment plan that is right for you. He will assess the areas of your breast that may benefit from fat transfer and will also assess the areas from which he will remove the fat. He will set reasonable expectations on what type of result is possible as there are limits on the amount of fat that can be transferred in one session. Additional fat transfer sessions may be required to obtain the best result
Fat transfer is done under general anesthesia by removing fat from the lower abdomen or legs (similar to a cosmetic liposuction procedure), purifying the fat for injection and then placing the fat into the breast skin or tissue through small incisions. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Sometimes ACE bandages are placed around the abdomen and legs where the fat is harvested to help with bruising.
Recovery and Results
Patients are fully recovered within a few days and all activity restrictions are lifted after a week. Dressings are removed at the first post-operative visit. While the results of lipotransfer are certainly noticeable after one session, additional sessions may be required for more challenging deformities.