Breast reconstruction is required to restore the shape and volume of the breast in post-cancer rehabilitation. Reconstruction procedure offered are silicone implants by surgery and non-surgical autologous fat tissue grafting. These methods are limited due to repeated procedures and costs for healthcare system, limiting the availability for patients.
The goal of breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, appearance, symmetry and size following mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities. Breast reconstruction often involves multiple procedures performed in stages and can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be delayed until a later date.
After a mastectomy, breast reconstruction is required as a part of post-cancer rehabilitation. One of the ways to restore the shape and volume of the breast is with implants made of round, flexible silicone shells filled with silicone gel involving major surgeries. Although commonly used for breast reconstruction, silicone implants are limited because they increase the lifetime risk of patients redeveloping cancer in the breast.
The other way to restore the shape and volume of the breast is with fat grafting. Fat grafting, also called autologous fat transfer, is emerging as a safe technique that doesn’t involve major surgery. In fat grafting, fat tissue is removed from other parts of the patient’s body, usually thighs, belly, and buttocks by liposuction. The fat is then processed into liquid and injected into the breast area to reshape the breast. The downside of this technique is that most of the fat that gets injected disappears quickly thereby requiring painful repeated procedures.
Fat grafting for breast reconstruction is emerging as a safe technique and is the preferred method by plastic surgeons over the use of silicone implants because the own body’s fat is the ideal filler, safe, not rejected by the body, provides a natural appearance and last forever if successfully accepted. Nevertheless, fat grafting does not provide the desired outcome due to accelerated fat resorption.