Fat Grafting Procedures
Breast reconstruction is the process of restoring a woman's identity after breast cancer surgery. Most often this is not one specific surgery, but rather a decision based on the patient’s overall desires and treatment goals. Patients that elect to undergo breast conservative surgery, or lumpectomy, there are many options to help re-shape the breasts to minimize any defects, maximize breast symmetry and provide optimal breast aesthetics. After removal of the entire breast, or mastectomy, patients have options to use either their own tissue or an implant to reconstruct their breast. The overall goal in either scenario is to provide women with the opportunity to maintain their identity and take back what their cancer has taken away. Before you choose a method for your breast reconstruction in Gainesville, FL, it is important to learn what to expect from the procedure.
Whether someone elects to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy, fat grafting/transfer has become a powerful tool in the final shaping of the reconstructed breast. Fat grafting/transfer is one of the most popular breast reconstruction procedures because it uses the patient’s own tissue to reconstruct the breast.
Fat Grafting in Breast Reconstruction
Whether someone elects to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy, fat grafting/transfer has become a powerful tool in the final shaping of the reconstructed breast. Both implant based and autologous reconstruction can use fate grafting to improve the overall appearance of the reconstructed breast(s). Fat grafting/transfer is one of the most popular breast reconstruction procedures because it uses the patient’s own tissue to reconstruct and reshape the breast.
Autologous Tissue Breast Reconstruction
Autologous tissue means the use of the patient’s own tissue to recreate the breast. The tissue is usually taken from the abdomen however can be taken from the inner thigh or buttocks. Autologous tissue flap breast reconstruction looks and feels much like natural breasts. You will also have fat removed from your stomach area just like a tummy tuck. The surgery is more extensive than the implant reconstruction but can give a more natural appearing result.
Types of Fat Grafting Techniques
During fat grafting for breast reconstruction, your surgeon will begin by harvesting fat from a host area, usually choosing a location with unwanted fat such as the belly, buttocks, thigh or flanks. Fat is extracted using a specific method that filters out red blood cells, white blood cells and free lipids. The fat is turned into a liquid while preserving the fat cells, and then injected into the breast. Lumpectomies can result in hollow sections of your breast, which can then be filled with injections of these fat cells. Following a single or double mastectomy, injections are used to recreate the entire breast or used around the implant or autologous flap to shape the breast and achieve better symmetry.
Benefits of Fat Transfer Breast Reconstructions
Many women prefer fat grafting over other breast reconstruction techniques because it does not require a foreign implant to be inserted into the body. Instead, your own tissue is used which reduces the chance of infection and gives a more natural feeling breast. Another advantage to fat grafting is that you can remove the fat from an area where you have excess fat. Many women who undergo fat grafting reconstruction report a more natural feeling breast that is more sensitive to touch than other alternatives.
What to Expect from Fat Transfer Procedure
Following a fat grafting procedure, it is common to experience moderate swelling and bruising surrounding the breasts and the donor site. Patients also experience mild to moderate pain in these areas as well. You should not wear a bra for two weeks after the procedure so that the fat cells are able to properly integrate with the surrounding tissue. Your Gainesville plastic surgeons will also fit you with a compression garment to reduce swelling in the donor site. You will also want to avoid sleeping on your stomach or participating in any activities that will put any pressure on your breasts. Typically, women with sedentary jobs can return to work after three to five days, but those with active careers should wait one week.
Breast Reconstruction in Gainesville, FL
Breast reconstruction can be an emotional experience so it makes sense that you want to choose plastic surgeons Gainesville, FL, residents trust to ensure it is done correctly the first time. Dr. Richard Nesmith and Dr. Brad Nesmith at Nesmith Plastic Surgery Center are dedicated to providing you with exceptional results and compassionately help you through the process. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.