Orlando Cosmetic Surgery understands that women faced with breast cancer surgery must face many decisions about their breast reconstruction choices.
As you explore and research your breast surgery options, you might run across a technique termed “lipofilling.”
In this blog article, we bring you very recent research results concerning this technique. Although we have mentioned this study previously, we felt it needed its own, more detailed article.
A Definition of Lipofilling
Put simply, lipofilling is the use of a patient’s “own fat cells to optimize the results of breast reconstruction…” At first glance, this seems to be a very natural choice for some women, but many wonder about the safety of using their own fat because they feared recurrent breast cancer.
As of February of this year, studies were published which prove happily, that lipofilling does not increase the risk of recurrent breast cancer.
The prestigious Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS,) Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported, “Our controlled study shows that, used as part of breast reconstruction, lipofilling is a safe procedure that does not increase the risk of recurrent or new breast cancers.”
ASPS member surgeon Dr. Steven J. Kronowitz of Kronowitz Plastic Surgery, Houston (formerly of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center) was lead author of the report re-affirming the safety of lipofilling.
A Look At The Evidence of Safety: Lipofilling and Cancer
Dr. Steven J. Kronowitz and his team studied group of over 1,000 partial or total mastectomies followed by breast reconstruction with lipofilling.
1. Within the test group, 30 percent 30 percent of the cases were women who had a high genetic risk of breast cancer.
2. The research scientists compared the rates of recurrent or new breast cancer with a similar group of women who also underwent mastectomy and reconstruction, but they did not have the lipofilling procedure.
3. Keep in mind that “In the lipofilling procedure, fat obtained by liposuction from one part of the body — for example, the abdomen or thighs — is injected to enhance the appearance of the breast.”
The scientists discovered that the recurrence rates were similar in both groups. For women who underwent mastectomy for breast cancer, overall recurrence rates were similar for reconstruction with versus without
lipofilling: 1.3 percent for women who had lipofilling versus 2.4 percent in those who did not.
4. Likewise Rates of “systemic (distant) cancer recurrence were similar as well: 2.4 percent with lipofilling versus 3.6 percent without.” Scientists discovered that none of the women from the 30 percent who took the preventative mastectomy developed primary breast cancer.
5. The only exception to the rule occurred in the cases of women who were also on hormone therapy. In those cases, there was a small increase in the recurrence: 1.4 versus 0.5 percent.
Lipofilling is basically a fat grafting technique, and surgeons have been using it to increase the cosmetic results of reconstruction. Surgeons commonly extract the fat they use from the patient’s own thighs or abdomen.
In fact, in 2013 it was utilized by more than 60 percent of the ASPS member surgeons.
You might learn that some cosmetic surgeons do not prefer this technique because of concern that it might affect the risk of recurrent breast cancer. As we have said previously, surgical decisions in every case are highly individualized. Every patient, every case, is different.
Dr. Kronowitz summarized, “Our results provide new evidence that lipofilling, used as part of breast reconstruction, is a safe procedure that does not increase the risk of recurrent or new breast cancer after mastectomy,”
The Reasons Behind The Study of Lipofilling
The researchers hope their discoveries will motivate more plastic surgeons to use the lipofilling technique because it helps to create a lovelier, more natural breast reconstruction for patients who have endured cancer surgery.
Thus, the Kronowitz team is hoping that their findings will encourage more plastic surgeons to use lipofilling to provide the best possible results of breast reconstruction for their patients undergoing breast cancer surgery.
At Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, we encourage patients to explore their options for reconstruction after breast cancer surgery. Women who have reconstructive surgery report renewed self-confidence, feminine self-esteem, and a feeling of being “whole” again.
Come to Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, and let our doctors and staff help you find the cosmetic surgery options that are right for you.