These techniques are used to improve the shape of the reconstructed breast after breast reconstruction surgery. The procedure is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic and involves using a special needle and syringe to remove fat (liposuction) from the reconstructed breast to reduce the size/volume. Or the fat is removed from an area of the body (buttocks, flanks, abdomen, and thighs) to be purified (filtered) and re-injected into the reconstructed breast to smooth out any contour defects.

There will be small incisional scars where the fat is removed from and injected into. There may be bruising and swelling, particularly in the areas the fat is harvested (removed from) which can take a few weeks to settle. You may be asked to wear supportive garments (shorts or body-shaper knickers) to support the area the fat has been taken from. You will need to wear a supportive bra for several weeks after the surgery to support your breasts.

With fat transfer to smooth out defects in the reconstructed breast, there is a risk that the fat injected does not pick up a good blood supply and the fat cells become damaged and eventually die. This is called fat necrosis. Approximately 40% of the fat injected will be resorbed by your body. This means the body naturally absorbs the fat that has been transferred and sometimes the procedure needs repeating two or three times.

Guidelines on fat transfer in the UK are published by BAPRAS

Come to a Show & Tell event

Find out more about different types of procedure and the experiences of patients by coming along to one of our events.