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Breast recon - fat grafting

DogstarDogstar Member Posts: 20
edited May 2018 in General discussion
Hi all

I’m considering fat grafting as my sole reconstruction choice and keen to hear about anyone else’s experiences. I’m leaning that way for a few reasons; very small framed and I’m happy with just filling out my chest shape rather than full on cleavage, my chest is deformed due to scoliosis so implants won’t look right (wld point in different directions!), it’s a relatively minor procedure each time and not keen on any type of flap surgery due to scarring and scale of the operation. My main concern is the unproven risk of the new fat prompting cancer growth and the need for biopsies etc on lumps that develop from the fat that doesn’t survive.

I’ll probably go on the waiting list at the Royal Women’s in Melbourne under Dean Trotter for this work.

I am a member of the recon group here but couldn’t find anything about this procedure there so putting the call out to the whole gang.

Any advice, much appreciated!



  • PatsyNPatsyN Byron BayMember Posts: 296
    @Dogstar - I didn't know 'fat only' recons existed. I think I might be a candidate for that as my remaining breast is tiny. I shall follow your post with great interest.
  • DogstarDogstar Member Posts: 20
    Hi @PatsyN, yes it doesn’t seem to be that common but the plastic surgeon was pretty happy to recommend it. My lymphoedema physio said she has a few patients who did it and are very happy with the result.

    Seeing my breast surgeon this week so will get her view as well.
  • Jane221Jane221 Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 1,176
    Hi @Dogstar, I don't know if you're on Facebook, but the Reclaim Your Curves facebook group has a few members who have had fat grafting to achieve a whole, new breast, so it might be worth joining, if you haven't already.

    There's also some information about the technique on the Reclaim Your Curves website: https://www.reclaimyourcurves.org.au/fat-grafting.html Reconstructing a whole breast via fat grafting is still relatively new here in Australia, but there are a few more plastic surgeons starting to do it. 

    As you probably know, lots of others (including me) have had smaller forms of fat grafting, called lipofilling, which basically is used to fill out dents / areas on the reconstructed breast that need a bit more "fleshyness". You can see some of those pics in the choosing breast reconstruction group if you do a search for fat grafting or lipofill. 

    I'm glad you've mentioned this though as I thought we had at least 1 photo story here in the recon group but it may have been lost when the new website was put up? Hopefully @mum2jj might be able to help here? Also, @Krooz, are you able to help as I believe this was your method of reconstruction?

    Cheers, Jane
  • mum2jjmum2jj Member Posts: 4,156
    Hi @Dogstar, @Jane221 has given you great information. Here is a link  to a post that @Krooz answered Fe her fat grafting procedure. I will try and get touch with her via RYC Facebook page and let her know you are after info as I’m not sure how often she is on the site. We don’t as yet have any photo stories in the group that I know of, but would love to have some to share. 
    Good luck. 
    Paula xx
  • DogstarDogstar Member Posts: 20
    Thanks @Jane221 and @mum2jj for your input. The Reclaim Your Curves info was super helpful.
  • mum2jjmum2jj Member Posts: 4,156
    Stay in touch if you do go down this path. Would love to hear and see more about it. 
    Paula x
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,260
    Hi there @Dogstar. My surgeon recommended fat transplant to start with then expanders then implants. I didn’t know you could just have the fat transplant and nothing else. He didn’t mention that to me! I pt would mean only one lot of surgery then. I’ll have to look into it. Let us know how you go. The wait times in qld are enormous so I hope it’s quicker for you down there. Margie xx
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,913
    I would love to hear more about it, too.  Not really keen on the idea of muscles being moved around.
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,446
    edited May 2018
    I must admit I am confused when we talk about fat grafting and lipofilling too, I had a single mastectomy/diep flap reconstruction and my entire breast, not just the dents, the entire breast is filled with stomach fat. Is this not the same thing? My revision surgery used lipo too just to top it up. @Dogstar I'd get into our Breast Reconstruction group, and look at the photo stories there, theres a wealth of info on it all. Hugs xo Melinda

  • DogstarDogstar Member Posts: 20
    Hi @melclarity, the difference is that with fat grafting/lipofilling the fat is removed by liposuction rather than surgically and then injected into the breast. No skin is taken so you need to have enough skin to create the breast mound. I had a skin saving mastectomy so that’s one reason it will work for me. It takes more than one procedure; the surgeon said at least two to get the result I want - but it’s a day procedure and the recovery is quick. The info at Reclaim Your Curves explains it clearly and with pictures.

    @onemargie - yes, I hope so too! I would also say though that it’s quite a bit cheaper to have done privately than other procedures, and at least for multiple rounds the cost is spread out over time.

  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,260
    hi there @Dogstar im going to ask the surgeon about that as i need the fat graft as my skin is quite thin apparently but they said id need the liposuction too from my tummy. sounds like a much simpler procedure. margie 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,446
    @Dogstar I had majority of my breast skin all but a small patch which they used my tummy for, I'm quite sure all the breast is from liposuction of my stomach as it was lumpy in spots and I ended up with fat necrosis and had to have it blasted at revision. I had an enormous amount of liposuction, you can see the horrendous bruising in my stories in Breast Recon, as they also did lipo underneath the armpits too at revision and upper stomach. It's also very painful something my Plastics Nurse said they don't tell people about. x
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,407
    @melclarity ...don't you have a hip to hip abdominal incision? This is a very different procudure from a diep flap which moves the blood supply with the fat from the tummy area (and tunnel it up under your skin. It would still be lumpy as they are cutting and moving it and still leaving some behind. A lipo fat transfer is only for smaller breasts or to do a fill after some necrosis. They may have done some lipo too with your first but I wouldn't think so as it is very rough and it would have damaged the newly grafted fat from your tummy if they had. 
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,446
    @primek ah ok, yes I did have a hip to hip abdominal decision twice, and yes I had the Diep flap . Revision I had the lipo to top up the breast, they blast the fat necrosis not remove it. It's pretty full on, the Plastics Nurse couldnt get over how horrific my bruising through my torso was and painful too. x
  • unknownunknown MelbourneMember Posts: 45
    hi, I am very interested in fat transfer for complete breast reconstruction.  I would like to know of recommended surgeons in Melbourne who have successfully used fat transfer only for complete reconstruction.  also previous texts mention facebook link, I don't know how to access this link.  I had a left breast masectomy three years ago using my stomach as a donor site for reconstruction.  I am now looking at having a preventative masectomy right breast and don't want an implant.  Fat transfer sounds like a good option for me as I have a slight build. My current surgeon isn't keen on the idea of fat transfer and its so hard to find more information about something that is still fairly new in Australia. if anyone has had a successful complete breast reconstruction with fat transfer only, I would love to hear from you and any surgeon recommendations. cheers xxx
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