Cancer Concerns about Breast Augmentation with Natural Fat
Recently, proponents of breast augmentation using fat grafting published an article in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal claiming that the main causes for concern were due to laboratory situations that are not related to actual clinical practice. They claim that because there have been over 2000 fat-grafting procedures to the breast performed without a single documented case of breast cancer resulting, we should assume that the risk has been overestimated.
However, there are many reasons why we should not let down our guard about this potentially very dangerous procedure.
First, there are several mechanisms by which the procedure can contribute to cancer. The stimulation necessary to encourage grafted fat to “take” in the breast without resulting in unevenness or otherwise unattractive results can stimulate either the new or old tissue to transform into cancer. In particular, the chemicals necessary to stimulate blood vessel growth to supply the graft have been implicated in the formation of cancers throughout the body.
Second, the follow-up time of studies with fat grafting to the breast are too short to detect an increased incidence of cancer. Cancer is not a short-term complication, but one that may show up decades after a procedure. With a follow up of just a few months in most cases, current studies are not sufficient to show whether there is or is not an increased risk of cancers.
Third, 2000 procedures is a very small number when you think about the potential population that may be affected. Nearly 300,000 women have breast augmentation surgeries every year. A risk that is undetectable in a population of 2000 could easily affect thousands of women every year. Therefore, it is important to approach the procedure with caution until we have sufficient data.
Finally, breast implants are too good an option to be put aside until we are absolutely sure of the new technology. Breast implants give great, reliable results that are far in excess of what anyone claims to be able to achieve with fat grafting. We have decades of experience with millions of surgeries worldwide, and pretty conclusive evidence that they are very safe, not linked to breast cancer, connective tissue disorders, or other chronic illnesses. Therefore, there is no reason to recommend that any woman should pursue another option that has a potential for serious risk.
At the Cosmetic Surgical Center in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Vasdev Rai puts his patients’ safety first, and any procedure he performs has been confirmed to be highly safe and effective, the best option available to get you the results you desire. To talk honestly to Dr. Rai about this or another procedure, please contact us today.
Dr. Vasdev Rai
Dr. Vasdev Rai has performed more than 25,000 cosmetic surgeries over his more than 30 years in practice as a Dallas plastic surgeon. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon who was first certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1983. Learn More...
Dr. Surjit Rai
Dr. Surjit Rai was born and raised in Plano, Texas. Being the son of a plastic surgeon, Dr. Rai had the unique opportunity to see first-hand the impact a plastic surgeon can have. He knew at a young age that he would dedicate his life and academic career towards the goal of becoming a plastic surgeon. Learn More...