Ask the Doctor- Can you have reconstruction after a full body lipo suction?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question:  Hello I’m a cancer survivor and I have a question. I’ve been on this roller coaster ride for the last past six years and I’m ready to get off of it six years with the painful mishaps of reconstruction NOT the cancer. So my question is…it possible to have breast reconstruction after you have had a full body lipo suction everywhere. I mean where would a doctor get any fat or tissue from? I’ve had several failed breast augmentation and several capsules therefore the skin is very thin.

I now have my 8th capsule (ROCK ) I’m just about ready to cut them OFF myself, totally miserable. I have just about given up my faith and search and doctors because every time I go under the knife and get my hopes up high. I end up in the same boat. Is safe to say I feel like cutting them off myself I’m sick off these rocks are very painful is there anything that can be done? Thanks in advance

Answer:  It may be possible to reconstruct your breasts with your own natural tissue, but I can’t give you odds without examining you, and then probably ordering an MRI angiogram to evaluate the status of the perforating blood vessels that we use to transfer tissue.

The first question is whether you have enough extra tissue left after liposuction to make it worthwhile doing a microvascular transfer to the breast area. The areas we commonly use are the abdomen, the buttocks, and the posterior thigh. “Enough” is a relative term, to a large extent defined by your personal breast size goals.

The second issue is whether you have usable blood vessels in any areas which we could potentially transfer as flaps. This can usually be determined by a pre-operative MRI angiogram. Unfortunately, this requires an unusually strong (3T) MRI machine, and a specialized exam protocol, so ordinarily it must be done at a special facility here in Charleston.

Thanks very much for your question. I would be happy to discuss your situation further by phone or in person, if you wish..

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