Fat Grafting May Enhance Reconstruction Satisfaction Following Mastectomy


A recent study suggests the technique of fat grafting, used as an adjunct to breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, may enhance breast satisfaction.

As a supplement to breast reconstruction, fat grafting involves using liposuction to harvest fat cells from a patient’s abdomen or thighs. The adipocytes (fat cells) are isolated from any extra material, and injected into deficient areas of the reconstruction.

Although fat grafting has proven a useful tool for treating reconstruction volume deficits, and irregular breast contours, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is weighing regulations that may restrict the procedure’s use by plastic surgeons.

A study through the University of Michigan Health System at Ann Arbor looked at patient response to the results of fat grafting. Of the 2,048 women in the study who had breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, 165 underwent fat grafting between years one and two, post-mastectomy.

After one year post-mastectomy, those who later opted for fat grafting had substantially less breast satisfaction, and lower psychosocial, and sexual well-being than the women who did not choose fat grafting. Following their fat grafting procedure, the 165 women reported breast satisfaction similar to the non fat-grafted group, at two years post-mastectomy.

“By providing multicenter, prospective data confirming the benefits of autologous fat grafting as a useful adjunct in breast reconstruction, we hope that this study will contribute to the ongoing discussion with payers and regulators over the safety and effectiveness of these procedures,” wrote study author Dr. Jeffrey H. Kozlow, M.D., M.S., and colleagues.

“Our findings should bolster the ongoing assertion that fat grafting is an important tool in breast reconstruction and that this option should remain available to reconstructive surgeons and to the patients they serve.”

The study results were published by JAMA Surgery.

Source: Science Daily
Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker


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