What Are Possible Risks And Complications Of Breast Fat Transfer?
Learn More About Breast Augmentation Surgery
Breast augmentation is an extremely popular cosmetic surgery procedure due to its ability to dramatically improve an individual’s appearance and confidence. There are two techniques used for breast augmentation: implants and fat transfers. Although breast implants are the more traditional approach, the use of fat grafts to transfer body fat to the breasts in order to enlarge or improve its projection, shape or form is quickly gaining popularity. As with any surgical procedure, there are associated risks and possible complications which are outlined below.
Although the use of fat grafts is minimally-invasive because it requires injections rather than surgical incisions, there are still some potential complications. These include the lack of structural integrity, formation of lumps, infection, development of fat or oil cysts, fat emboli, and mammogram interferences. Many of these complications are a result of the injection and placement techniques used by the plastic surgeon, which is why it is crucial to select a highly qualified, experienced physician.
One of the biggest problems with fat transfers in breast augmentation is the lack of structural integrity. Sometimes in large fat transfer cases, the breast may not accept the injected fat cells as predicted and consequently, additional materials may need to be inserted to help maintain the desired shape.
Fat Graft Complications
The formation of lumps after a fat graft breast augmentation is another common complication. It can be caused by many factors and its occurrence should be taken seriously. During this procedure, fat cells are collected from a donor site and processed as living tissue before being injected into the breasts. If this process is done incorrectly, the fat cells may not survive which can result in necrotic fat tissue that leads to an uneven contour on the breasts.
Fat or oil cysts can also develop when fat grafts are used for breast augmentation, although these usually develop in areas where breast tissue have been damaged. In general, after an injury, the body repairs the damaged breast tissue and replaces it with scar tissue. However, some fat cells may respond differently, becoming apoptotic and releasing their contents into the surrounding area to form an oil cyst. The newly formed cyst will lead to the development of a painless lump, causing surrounding skin to become thicker, red, and/or bruised. Luckily, oil cysts can easily be treated with a needle biopsy procedure to remove the fluid.
An extremely rare complication that can arise from breast augmentation with fat grafts is the development of a fat embolism. A fat embolism is when large amounts of fat droplets enter the bloodstream, potentially traveling to different areas of the body. Once again, this is rare and only caused by the use of superficial syringe liposuction during the breast augmentation procedure.
Overall, these risks and complications are uncommon if the breast augmentation and fat grafts are performed by qualified healthcare professionals. Any form of fat transfer in the body can lead to the development of lumps, so it is important to do regular radiological follow-ups to ensure that the lumps are not cancer-related. Early detection of these complications through radiology allows for effective treatment. For more information on the risks and complications of fat transfer breast augmentation, please schedule a private consultation with Dr. Craft to learn more about how to ensure that your surgery is a success.
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