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Fat Transfer using Liposuction

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Plimsolls
Plimsolls Member Posts: 5
edited January 2017 in Breast Reconstruction

Hello there

I am in London, UK and having had radical mastectomy on right side, but with no radiation I was originally going to have a standard reconstruction using back flap (dorsus), but after asking whether there is any alternative I was referred to to a plastic surgeon who decided he would like to try sucking fat from my stomach and transferring it to my right breast and putting an expander underneath.  Over the course of a year or so, exanding slowly and having more and more layers of fat put on top.

Sounds great, but I haven't met ANYONE who has had this done... is it new?  I am 47 (average weight/height) and had size 34C before hand..

Any feedback would be appreciated

Karen

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Comments

  • Stix
    Stix Member Posts: 610
    edited January 2013
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    Well, I do have something similar. After my mastectomy and the implants were exchanged and everything was healed my PS gave me the option of filling in smalldefects..... making the breast more sculptured by liposuctioning fat from my things and inputing it into my chest around the implant.

    The PS told me there were NO possible long term complication nor short term. I went to the medical library and did a lit search and I found that those fat transfers can turn into fatty lumps called fat necrosis. And, my BS confirmed this. She said they can mimic tumors on MRI and mammograms which can lead to unwanted biospies ...and stress for me.

    I would suggest you go to a large medical facility and have the librarian do a lit. search on your subject and get all the info on complications of fat transfers with liposuction to reconstruct the breast. 

    I hope this helps

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,236
    edited January 2013
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    A number of us have had fat transfer via liposuction after expanding with traditional expanders, then exchanging for implants.  I did not do this to increase the size, I did it to fill in above the implant where tissue had been excavated and the implant did not fill that void.  Fat was not put over the implant in the breast area.  Any doctor who tells you that there are no possible short or long term complication, for any procedure, is not being honest.   I trust my plastic surgeon's opinion that this was a safe procedure for me personally.

  • mammalou
    mammalou Member Posts: 293
    edited January 2013
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    Can fat transfers hide cancer that recurs in the breast?

  • h39
    h39 Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2013
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    I just read about a study that says there is no indication that fat transfer causes any such problems. They found fat transfer to be safe.

    I am thinking about reconstruction using the fat transfer option in combination with the Brava system.

    If anyone has any input on any of the clinics that offer this procedure now, I would very much appreciate hearing from you

  • Hindsfeet
    Hindsfeet Member Posts: 675
    edited January 2013
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    My plastic surgeon said that he could put the fat over the implant. The problem now is I've gone from a perfect small round tummy, no scars or lumps to now a lumpy tummy. Under my ribs, I have a huge lump that looks like a hernia. I feel deformed. I would never show my stomach area to anyone...even shy to show it to the doctor. I've always had a good shape. Not only is my breast a little messed up, but now I have a horrible lumpy tummy. I' feel hard scar areas and everytime I stand up the scars hurt. The scars feel like they're contracting. The surgery was done mid December. Can anything be done to correct this? Not sure what to do next or if I ever want to see my p.s. again.

  • 2miraclesmom
    2miraclesmom Member Posts: 38
    edited January 2013
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    I am doing fat transfer/grafting right now. Generally it is done with the BRAVA system or done to fix imperfections after the implant transfer or like mine, put in a bit at a time. My first transfer, there was no noticable difference. My second transfer, I went up a cup to a cup and a half. I just had it done, so there is still some swelling and I am not sure what the final result will be. What you have to keep in mind is that some of the fat will not take. Some dr say up to 40% and so me say less, will not "survive". The implanted fat has to be able to for a blood supply. My dr says not to have any kind of pressure on the breast for several weeks after the transfer to help facilitate this. I am not sure how this will work with expanders in.

  • GreenMonkey
    GreenMonkey Member Posts: 291
    edited January 2013
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    Hindsfeet, do you mean you feel deformed and lumpy where they harvested the fat? ME TOO!!!! I had mine done December 13th. My PS took it from my thighs and waist. The waist was sooooo painful. Better now but the area is still numb. I have hardness in my thighs and big craters. It's like you can see where she took the fat. Are you wearing a compression garment?

  • Cyn0619
    Cyn0619 Member Posts: 15
    edited February 2013
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    I was thinking of scheduling this surgery myself to fill in dent above implant on cancer side. Am I reading correctly that people r having lumps and bumps from where it was taken? I was wondering if they take enough fat to make a difference on my tummy. If I'm just replacing a dent in chest for lumps and bumps on tummy I'm not sure I want the trade. Any other feed back from anyone ? I was suppose to schedule my surgery next week with surgeon and now wondering if I should. Thsnks so much ladies for your input!

  • coffee4me
    coffee4me Member Posts: 23
    edited February 2013
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    Very interesting to know, I will try to keep updated on this. I was thinking of having it also if I needed to have some fill after my implant exchange.

  • eine
    eine Member Posts: 7
    edited February 2013
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    I researched fat grafting after a lumpectomy and rads and an unsuccessful recon with tissue expanders and implants.  Since their removal over one year ago, I have hoped I could at least fill the large dent in the radiated breast with fat transfer but have been told by two ps that since I had DCIS, they won't do fat tranfer because there is some speculation that it could cause a recurrence.  So disappointing and hopefully unfounded but has anyone ever been told that?  

  • shabby6485
    shabby6485 Member Posts: 48
    edited February 2013
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    hi ladies,

    i am also in the process of setting up a date to have fat transfer for some dents and for the upper breast area.  dr said he would take fat from thighs or love handle area.  

    now i am concerned after i read about the issues some of you had had after this procedure.

    for those of you who have had this done, how was the recovery?  was it painful?


    thank you for any advice

  • mammalou
    mammalou Member Posts: 293
    edited February 2013
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    I am schedules for this on march 12th. The doctor is trying to fix a lot of lumps and bumps and soften up scar tissue (capsular contraction). Anyone ever have this help. He said the recovery is pretty easy and that I should be able to go back to work in 2 days. He will be taking fat from my abdomen. I was going to have my nipple done, but now he doesn't want to. He wants to see how this fat grafting works out.

  • Plimsolls
    Plimsolls Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2013
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    Hello everybody,

    Oh boy I created this thread as I did not know anything about it and its nice to know others are equally unsure... Well, I am having my first transfer tomorrow, general anasthetic and should be home pm or the next day.  I am not sure if an expander will be put in tomorrow or if the surgeon will wait to see if it "takes".  I have been very anxious, have put on 15lbs in weight and hope it works..  More nervous and stressed about this than mastectomy, I suppose as this is not life saving have booked a week off work, but I am still not sure about whether when I lose weight, the boob will get smaller.  I have a tendency to put on and take off 30lbs every 3 years or so, a bit yo yo and I am worried about this side of things, is it ok to go on a good diet and start pumping iron as usual in the run up to summer.. will let you know !

  • Plimsolls
    Plimsolls Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2013
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    Hi SpecialK,  sorry for not responding sooner.  I am not aware of any side effects of this treatment, just a possibility that it wont work and fat will be absorbed and I will be none the worse.. but will have to have traditional reconstruction afterwards and depending on how my stomach is, a flap from there may be ruled out (understandable if liposuction been hovering fat cells up).  Wish me luck, going in tomorrow 7am.  Urgh.  Hospitals.. I have a love / hate relationship with them.... Surprised

  • kestrelgurl
    kestrelgurl Member Posts: 116
    edited February 2013
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    I have been in the process of recon including fat transfers to help counteract the damage caused by radiation and have documented the procedures in another thread: BMX/rads -->TE's/implants.

    So far everything is going very well and none of the procedures have been even close to as painful as the initial BMX. Ready to start fills next week!

  • sptmm62
    sptmm62 Member Posts: 527
    edited February 2013
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    Hi everyone! I had fat grafting as part of my Stage II DIEP on Wednesday.  They got the fat from my thighs and I was told to wear compression wraps around my legs, which I find quite uncomfortable.  Did anyone else wear these, and if so, for how long? 

  • RunnerMom
    RunnerMom Member Posts: 17
    edited February 2013
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    Sptmm62,

    I had fat grafting with my exchange last Friday, so one week ago today.  PS took 350 from each outer thigh and I woke up in compression "shorts" that I have to wear for two weeks.  I refer to them as my "crotchless spanx"...TMI, I know.  Ha!

    I am getting tired of wearing them, for sure, but thankfully it's only one more week.

    Best of healing to you!

  • sptmm62
    sptmm62 Member Posts: 527
    edited February 2013
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    Thanks Runnermom!  I just called the PS office, and the nurse said a minimum of two weeks.  My fat came from the inner thigh, although I do have bruising in the outer thigh/butt area too, such I might have had some there too.  I gave the PS free reign to suck out whatever fat he wanted...LOL!  Figure if I have to go through this I might as well get rid of some "trouble spots".  Anyway, its funny you mention spanx because that is exactly what she just told me to go get.  My dress pants for work will never fit over this wrap, so I think that is what I am going to do.  Thanks for your response.  I see also that we have a bit in common.  I am a new runner (took it up about one year ago) and I am looking forward to running my first half marathon this year.  I ran my first 10K the weekend before my BMX.  I also originally had a partial mastectomy and then decided last October on a BMX after several problems.  Its nice to see that I am not the only one out there that changed their mind over time. 

  • rozem
    rozem Member Posts: 749
    edited February 2013
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    plimsolls - i believe what you are having done is called a "stem cell transfer" not a typical fat grafting like other ladies who are just filling in areas.  My friend is having this done.  It is being used on women with radiated areas to help make the tissue more healthy to accept an expander.  They do something to the lipo'd fat to make the stem cells more "concentrated" then they inject into the breast area. This helps prevent re-absorption

  • hopeful24
    hopeful24 Member Posts: 117
    edited February 2013
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    I am looking at having a fat transfer (BRAVA) procedure for full reconstruction of a breast (skin and muscles are in complete).

    I've had two months through hell with complications from DIEP FLAP. While my right breast came out perfect, my left breast (which had five previous lumpectomies) had two vein failures and replacements, leaving some fat necrosis. After I thought things were finally under control, I developed a staph infection that spread through the reconstructed breast and the whole breast had to be removed (again).

    Due to the complications -- which included problems after anesthesia and the fact that I've already been through over 30 hours of surgery, the PS suggested fat transfers. I'm not thrilled about extending all this through ANOTHER 6-8 months, but I don't want to go through another Flap that could be life threatening.

    Has anyone gone through the fat transfer to create a breast? I was originally a C cup, but I'm only looking for a B to match the right one.

    BTW, I'm at Mayo Rochester with a great PS team. They did everything possible to save that breast.

  • sanbar8771
    sanbar8771 Member Posts: 36
    edited February 2013
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    I had fat removed from my tummy. It was great no pain. But after a year or so i have a fatty lump on my breast from the transfer and it looks funny. Im not sure if my ps can flatten it out.

  • EileenKaye1
    EileenKaye1 Member Posts: 166
    edited February 2013
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    Hopeful --as has been stated in my other posts, I am removing a 410cc implant for total fat grafting with brava. Last Wednesday, my smaller implant was totally removed --I am implant free. Will be having my reconstructed breast --totally composed from fat grafting--brava assisted. Again , would like to hear members having this form of reconstruction, and members who have completed reconstruction. Previously, I found the stories to be quite helpful. Eileen

  • hopeful24
    hopeful24 Member Posts: 117
    edited February 2013
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    Eileen... Thanks for the reply. Since you had an implant, doesn't that make the BRAVA fat transfer different because your breast has already been expanded? 

    Thanks again. I'm trying to get all my questions in a row before I go to PS appt Weds.

  • EileenKaye1
    EileenKaye1 Member Posts: 166
    edited February 2013
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    Yes--it does change the situation. My Ps still uses brava with reduction of implant size. She also does total reconstruction with brava tissue expansion. Eileen

  • hopeful24
    hopeful24 Member Posts: 117
    edited May 2013
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    Well, I'm ready to get going with this and had a consultation with my ps. He's not sure that he'll get enough fat for me left breast (right is fine from Diep Flap at a "B" cup). He says I'll need BRAVA or will have to have an expander and possibly a small implant at the end.

    At the moment, I'm waiting to find out if the insurance pays for BRAVA before I make a decision. I'm deep in debt (and haven't worked full time in months) so I can't even consider it if the insurance won't cover it.

    The other consideration is the fact that the BRAVA will put off my first surgery until July. Has anyone worn BRAVA during the summer? Is it really hot? Does it look strange under tanks? I need to get back to work and that includes a decent amount of time outside.

    Too many decisions!!

    Marcia

  • Hindsfeet
    Hindsfeet Member Posts: 675
    edited May 2013
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    If you choose to do fat grafting Brava is the way to go. No one in my area does the Brava technique. They use the ual (?) which is burning the fat out which causes fat cell death. I ask my ps what method he used. He said he used both...don't think so.

    He infused the fat in about 3 places like injecting it in where ever. After the procedure I had hard lumps in my tummy. He said to massage them out, which I did, but my tummy right in the middle is still lumpy. Thankfully the lumps are no longer hard areas. I wonder if you can ask the ps to fix your lumpy tummy. I prefer the tummy I had before. Although I had a few kids, my tummy never had stretch marks or had lumps.

    My breast felt soft after the fat grafting, and had no problems with it until almost 5 months later, about 3 wks ago. I'm now plagued with fatty lumps around the implant. I read that you can massage the lumps away. Most are pea size. Several are in the location of my previous tumor. The doctor said this is common for those who have fat grafting around implants. I'm curious to how many of you have lumps after fat grafting.

    I read that the Brava is done by grid and the fat doesn't die and most do not have problems with fat necrosis. I so wish I had Brava procedure.

  • hopeful24
    hopeful24 Member Posts: 117
    edited May 2013
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    Sorry to hear it isn't going well for you. I really want to do the BRAVA, just have to work out the money. 

    I hope things work out for you :) WHere do you live? I've been working with Lifeline Pilots to fly me back and forth to my surgeon. There are similar volunteer organizations around the country.

    Marcia

  • GreenCowgirl
    GreenCowgirl Member Posts: 80
    edited May 2013
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    Runnermom, HI  I am wondering if you feel like the fat grafting was a sucess.  Do you think it has remained viable, without much fat necrosis or absorption?  Seems like the brava method is done on the east coast and not much in the midwest.  I had fat grafting at my origional masectomy/reconstruction surgery feb 27 2013 and they only took 40cc from each thigh.  This seems like a small amount when considering only 50-60% will remain. I also see you to had previous radiation, which makes it less common for Docs to allow for the implant reconstuction.  I am about 3/4 done with fills, I have 600cc in right, 550 in left(for symetry) but the radiated right breast has deep folds/rolls in the expander,vwhich is causing my skin to look lumpy/distorted, did you have anything like this with your expansion??   Soo many questions, I am glad to have my fellow sisters to turn to.  I had a terrible experience today with a local radiologist tryig to bully me into having a mammo to check the lumpyness in my breast(caused my the expanders).  My Mayo/Rochester P.S requested they do an ultra sound to see if there was scarring in that area also contributing to the rippled look.  But keep in mind, I am not fully expanded yet, so they have me concerned about their insitance on a nipple mammo(i kept my native nips)   I refused the mammo, asked questions and the Doc at Iowa radialogy got pissy with me.  I told her I did not come for a mammo, my health care team in mayo said i will never have a mammo again and don;t want me having furher radiation-ever!  She turned into a real B and told me to just forget about it, she was not going to force me to have one.  Damn right she won't!!!   Ha!

  • hopeful24
    hopeful24 Member Posts: 117
    edited May 2013
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    Green Cowgirl... I'm just starting BRAVA/Fat Transfer at Mayo in Rochester. I had a mastectomy with diep flap reconstruction there and lost one of the breasts after a staph infection. 

    Private message me if you want to compare docs/notes. 

    Marcia

  • Skibunny
    Skibunny Member Posts: 54
    edited May 2013
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    Can I join in please?



    Plimsolls, I'm also in the UK. I had a bilateral mastectomy with expanders which I had replaced with implants in January. I've been offered the option of fat transfer to add volume and to make them softer. I am very tempted but worried that it will leave my tummy or thighs lumpy and bumpy and what it will look like on my breasts. Could they end up being visibly lumpy and bumpy?!



    I've had a bit of lipofill to fill in a dent, but that was only about 30ml - the fat transfer would be much more than that.



    How are you doing? Are you happy with the initial results?



    Another question just popped into my mind! If the transfer doesn't 'take' where does the rejected fat go...? Does it get dispelled from the body or just set up camp somewhere else?



    Thanks for your help.