There has been a long history of debate over the use of injected fat for breast augmentation. A Beijing study show that breast augmentation procedures in which fat from the patient’s body is transferred to the breasts can cause false suspicion of breast cancer on follow-up mammograms.
The abnormalities found prompted biopsies, but none revealed breast cancer. Instead, the calcifications appeared to be related to necrosis of the injected fat cells. This chinese study found that mammographic changes occurring after fat injection are indistinguishable from abnormalities associated with breast cancer.
Although the most recent studies have reported that the method provides very good results, and that any changes seen on mammograms are easily distinguished from abnormalities related to breast cancer.
In contrast, the new Chinese study finds mammographic abnormalities suspicious for breast cancer in one out of six women undergoing fat injection for breast augmentation.
According to the study, the clustered microcalcifications are indistinguishable from those associated with breast cancer, requiring a biopsy to help physicians make the correct diagnosis. Because of this issue, the authors write in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, autologous fat injection for breast augmentation should be discontinued.
Please note that a paper published in the March issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, which concluded, “Radiographic follow-up of breasts treated with fat grafting is not problematic and should not be a hindrance to the procedure.”
It looks like alot more controlled double blind randomized studies with large patient population is needed to make a case for or against fat injection to breasts.