Cancer patients who need to undergo breast reconstruction surgery may benefit from an innovative liposuction technique which can help to sculpt and define the breast tissues with ease.
According to a recent report by BBC Wales, patients at the Singleton Hospital in Swansea are among the first in the country to benefit from liposuction with their breast reconstruction procedure.
Liposuction was used to transfer fat from their thighs and stomach, and then re-injected into the breast where the tumor had been removed. This entire process is less invasive and more comfortable than traditional breast reconstruction procedures, and may provide several benefits for cancer patients around the UK, and around the world.
Many patients who have had a tumor removed from their breasts notice asymmetry and an imbalance in their chests. Some can afford to have breast implants or surgery to restore their original shape and size, but many cannot. The liposuction procedure may help to fill out the breasts with more natural results, and in some cases, may even be more affordable.
According to consultant oncoplastic surgeon Nader Khonji who interviewed with BBC Wales, the new technique has a higher success rate than traditional procedures because it uses stem and regenerative cells from fat to perform the transfer. This results in a more natural appearance and few risks of side effects because it involves the patient’s real body tissues.
Part of the procedure process involves breaking down the tissue and splitting it into a concentrate of stem cells. These cells contain the essential growth factors that need to be present for the breast tissues to adopt the cells. These cells are mixed into the fat and re-injected into the breasts, with new growth occurring over a period of a few weeks.
The first ten patients in Wales who underwent this procedure enjoyed successful outcomes, and did not need to undergo the entire breast reconstruction procedure with implants after mastectomy.