The Breast and Lipofilling
Fat injections or lipofilling is a new and promising technique for both breast reconstruction and breast augmentation. One of the serious concerns is that the presence of stem cells in the transferred fat would stimulate the growth of abnormal cells resulting in a higher incidence of both recurrent and new breast cancers. This fear does have some experimental support. In the February issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a clinical study (http://goo.gl/Fv6SFk) provides evidence for the oncologic safety of fat injections into the breast. The studies were performed at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas and The University of Michigan. This was a large study with a follow-up period of 44-73 months. There was no increased incidence of local recurrence or systemic spread in breast cancer patients. In addition, the investigators did not find any primary breast cancer in previously healthy breasts treated with lipofilling. This is encouraging news for the both the breast reconstruction patient and for those patients with congenital asymmetry or micromastia. As a word of caution, however, longer follow-up, more patients, and greater experience are still needed until all concerns in this matter are put to rest!