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Fat grafting breast reconstruction is a procedure that can help improve the appearance of the breasts after mastectomy, lumpectomy, or radiation therapy. By using the body’s own fat to correct asymmetry, scarring, and irregularities, fat grafting can provide natural-looking enhancement for the chest without the risk of allergic reaction. Fat grafting can be used in combination with flap or breast implant reconstruction techniques to optimize the roundness and aesthetic attractiveness of your breast profile. 

Dr. Neil Tanna is a double board-certified plastic surgeon who has performed thousands of successful breast reconstruction procedures. He is devoted to helping women regain their quality of life and achieve their best appearance after experiencing the devastating effects of breast cancer. 

What is fat grafting?

Fat grafting, also called fat transfer, is performed on an outpatient basis. The first step is to harvest fat cells from an area of the body where they are plentiful, often the thighs, stomach, or buttocks. Next, the fat cells are purified in a centrifuge. The last step is to inject the fat into the chest area, increasing breast volume in a way that looks organic and seamless. 

While some of the fat will be absorbed by the body over the course of several months, the fat that remains will boost the cup size and help to enhance the result of implant or flap reconstruction surgery.

What are the benefits of fat grafting?

  • Increases the size of the breasts
  • Improves breast symmetry
  • Creates a fuller, more youthful-looking bust
  • Corrects breast contours negatively affected by radiation or lumpectomy
  • Can revise the results of a previous breast reconstruction procedure
  • Enhances satisfaction with one’s image
  • Highly customized result
  • Natural-looking outcome
  • Slims and sculpts the donor region
  • Helps camouflage the edges of breast implants
  • Helps minimize the appearance of scars
  • Little to no risk of an allergic reaction 
  • The transferred fat mimics human breast tissue
  • Can be performed in around 1 hour

Who is a good candidate?

Fat grafting can help refine the appearance of the breasts after mastectomy, lumpectomy, flap surgery, implant surgery, or radiation treatments. As long as you are mentally and physically healthy and you have realistic expectations for your results, you will most likely qualify to receive a fat grafting procedure. Dr. Tanna will meet with you in private to discuss your options and will perform a physical evaluation and thorough review of your medical history at that time.

What can I expect after a fat grafting procedure?

After fat grafting breast reconstruction, patients typically experience minor swelling, bruising, and tenderness at both the donor site and the recipient areas. Dr. Tanna will provide you with prescription pain medications as well as antibiotics and a detailed aftercare plan that goes over your self-care in the coming weeks and months. You will be fitted with a compression garment to help reduce swelling in the donor site. You will not need to wear a surgical bra, however, because the breasts should remain free and unrestricted as they heal. 

Take care to avoid stomach sleeping and any activity that might place undue pressure on the chest. Those with sedentary vocations can return to work within one week, while patients with more physically demanding jobs may need an additional week of recuperation. 


What is the survival rate for transplanted fat cells?

Because some of the fat gets reabsorbed by the body after fat grafting, the survival rate for transplanted fat cells is usually around 40-50%. To anticipate this loss, Dr. Tanna is careful to add more fat in the chest area than is needed. He may also recommend additional fat grafting sessions to add more fat to an already enhanced region.

Is fat transfer safe?

Fat transfer is considered among the safest surgical procedures. It can often be performed with local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, reducing risks. The incisions required with fat transfer are micro-sized, which also helps to reduce surgical risks. Because the fat is taken from the client’s own body, it is very unlikely that the patient will suffer a negative reaction to the treatment.

Why choose Dr. Tanna?

Dr. Tanna is an experienced leader in breast reconstruction. As a double board-certified plastic surgeon, he has the skill, education, and artistry to deliver exquisite, refined results tailored to your unique wishes. Dr. Tanna’s compassionate, transparent approach sets breast cancer survivors instantly at ease. They entrust Dr. Tanna to provide natural breast augmentation results based on a customized treatment plan discussed during a private consultation. 

Dr. Tanna has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles in world-class medical journals and has been invited to lecture at over 100 global conferences, seminars, and events in the field of cosmetic science. He is actively involved as a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Neil Tanna, breast reconstruction surgeon
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(516) 871-3570