Botox Patient: Recycling your Fat

By: Botox Patient - In: Cosmetic Surgery|Medical Spa|Plastic Surgery

9 Dec 2009

The latest kind of recycling has nothing to do with soda bottles. It entails liposuctioning fat from thighs or buttocks and injecting it into breasts to augment them. After being condemned in the early ’90s, this procedure is generating newfound excitement among the handful of doctors nationwide who offer it and patients keen to enlarge their breasts without resorting to implants.

Almost 20 years ago, the association now known as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a warning to its member doctors to not inject suctioned fat into patients’ breasts, for fear that mammograms would be misread. Since some injected fat dies and calcifies, the thinking was that radiologists would not be able to distinguish between those calcifications (or calcium deposits) and suspicious ones that may indicate breast cancer.

A second concern was that too little injected fat survived being transplanted, because techniques for harvesting, refining and placing fat were not advanced enough. Even today, the success of fat grafting to the breast, as the procedure is also known, depends on the physician.

But this year, the plastic surgery society reversed its former position. A report from its task force reviewed the limited research on fat grafting to the breast and concluded that it “can be considered a safe method of augmentation.” On the issue of mammography, the report said fat grafting “could potentially interfere with breast cancer detection; however no evidence was found that strongly suggests this interference.” Thus, the task force’s statement turned a red stoplight into a yellow one, signaling to plastic surgeons: Proceed with caution.

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