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There have been numerous major innovations in breast reconstruction over the last quarter century that have paved the way for dramatic improvements in the final results. Starting with tissue expanders that are designed to stretch out the chest wall tissues in order to accommodate breast implants, to a multitude of microsurgical tissue transfers options (taking tissue from other areas of the body to use to reconstruct the breast) and even tissue transplantations (ADM’s or acellular dermal matrices) that allow for support, finesse and greater predictability of the breast reconstruction endeavor.

We can now add one more major breast reconstruction advancement to these: fat grafting.

There has been a prudent hesitancy for years in the plastic surgery community regarding the usage of fat grafting in the breasts – and for good reason. The first concern was that injecting fat grafts into the breasts could cause pathological changes that might make it difficult discerning between benign and cancerous findings on mammograms. This could then lead either to missed diagnoses of breast cancers or unnecessary breast biopsies in order to determine the nature of the mammographic findings – benign or malignant.

The second major concern was the possibility that some of the injected fat cells could increase the risk of the development or recurrence of breast cancer. There was some previous non-human research that had suggested this possibility.

Fortunately, extensive research and clinical studies have shown that these two areas of concern are, in fact, non-issues. Non factors.

Radiologists can discern whether specific changes in the breasts on mammogram are of a benign or malignant nature. As for stimulating new breast cancers, there is no evidence in humans that fat grafting will lead to an increase risk of breast cancer or its recurrence.

So what will fat grafting in breast reconstruction accomplish?

Fat grafting adds volume which can be used to further reshape a reconstructed breast to a more refined, desirable one. It can allow for creation of a more conical result as compared to the fairly common flat shaped ones that usually eventuate from many reconstructive approaches. Fat injections can also add some strategic increase in breast projection as well as fill in contour irregularities following reconstruction. They can also allow for more natural, smoother transitions with the surrounding tissues. Finally, fat grafts have also been shown to increase the quality of the overlying skin which can be a major positive benefit in those who have undergone radiation treatment.

So, with fat injections to the breasts we have even better, more natural reconstructed breasts AND liposuction of one or more areas to harvest the fat.

It’s a real win-win situation for those women who could use a little more luck, happiness and improvement of self-esteem in their lives.

For more information on the breast reconstruction, fat injections or for any other reconstructive or cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that I perform, please call my office
at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

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