Breast reconstruction surgery

Lipofilling for Breast Reconstruction

Lipofilling is the broad term which covers the process of extracting fat from one area of the body and then inserting this fat into a different area where volume, mass or reshaping is desired. It also can be described as ‘fat transfer’, ‘lipo modelling’ or ‘fat grafting’. In this case, it is used to help with the breast reconstruction process.

Lipofilling for breast reconstruction is essentially a four-stage process:

  1. The area of the body with excess fat is identified and prepared for surgery
  2. A thin tube (or cannula) is inserted underneath the skin, allowing fatty tissue to be extracted and stored. The surgery is generally performed under general anaesthetic
  3. The extracted fat is spun in a centrifuge which separates the fat cells from any other liquid mass that has been extracted along with the fat
  4. The pure fat is then injected into the area where greater volume, mass or structure is required

Lipofilling: risks to be aware of

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks and limitations. The key to success with a lipofilling operation is ensuring that there is sufficient blood flow to the implanted fat cells. They need blood to survive so there must be a plentiful supply of blood vessels in the host area, and not too much fat implanted otherwise it will just be absorbed by the body.

Lipofilling represents a large part of my reconstructive work at the Royal Marsden Hospital. Although it is very rare to be able to produce a total breast reconstruction just using fat, it is often performed in combination with implants or a DIEP or TMG Flap procedure to smooth out the edges and add more volume as required.

My cosmetic breast surgery practice requires a high degree of aesthetic expertise which I deploy in my reconstructive work to ensure the very best possible results for my patients.

What my patients say about me

Having had the upset of being diagnosed with breast cancer and having opted to have a skin and nipple sparing double mastectomy, I was very keen to ensure that the cosmetic result that would be achieved when replacing the expander implants for permanent ones was as good as humanly possible.

I am a very fussy individual and after much research, I narrowed down my search to three top plastic surgeons. Two in the UK and one in the US. Mr Ramsey was the last of the surgeons I saw. His approach was very different to the others: he did not seem to think that I had ‘to make do’ with the result I had because I was a cancer patient who had had a double mastectomy.

I had two consultations, and he was incredibly thorough, patient and kind. He explained everything in great detail and never made me feel that I was asking too many questions (I always do!).

He was careful to manage my expectations. Frankly, there was no need. The result is near perfection, and this is not a qualified statement. Even if I had elected to have breast surgery for aesthetic rather than medical reasons, I would be completely delighted with the result. Mr Ramsey is a genius!

Mrs A BrakeBreast Reconstruction After Double Mastectomy