Can Belly Fat Be Used for Breast Reconstruction?

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Written by Dr. Silvia Kurtovic

Breast reconstruction surgery includes a variety of surgical procedures designed to replace breast tissue which is removed following lumpectomy or mastectomy. A woman’s lower abdominal or “belly” tissue is one of the most common areas of the body that we can use to restore breast tissue that is removed after lumpectomy or mastectomy. There are two main types of surgical procedures that utilize lower abdominal “belly fat”, fat grafting and DIEP flap breast reconstruction.

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting, also called autologous fat transfer, involves removing your own fat from the lower tummy, or inner thighs via liposuction. The fat is then carefully transferred via microdroplets to the breast to add volume and improve shape and contour. Most often, we utilize fat grafting to fill in contour irregularities after partial breast removal such as lumpectomy or to help camouflage implant visibility after implant breast reconstruction. Fat grafting is limited by the amount of fat we can safely transfer at one time, and frequently requires more than one procedure to achieve the best aesthetic result.

DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap breast reconstruction is a highly specialized microvascular surgical technique which involves removing the lower abdominal skin and fat (as in a “tummy tuck”) along with the blood vessels and connecting these vessels to the chest vessels. Essentially, we transplant the lower tummy skin and fat to the chest, which allows us to rebuild the breast mound using a patient’s own living tissue. The result is a soft, warm, living breast reconstruction which lasts forever. Most patients who undergo this procedure, have very high satisfaction with their reconstruction and require less revision surgery over their lifetime.

Schedule a Consultation to Learn More

Board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Mahabir and Dr. Kurtovic are both board-certified plastic surgeons and experienced in performing fat grafting and DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery. To learn if you are a candidate for breast reconstruction using your “belly fat” or abdominal tissue, call our office at 520-415-2420 to schedule your consultation.


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