Ask the Doctor- Can the fat from my abdomen be used?

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

Question: I have breast cancer Stage 1 grade2 in my right breast. The surgeons here want to use my latissimus dorsi muscle for reconstruction. This is unacceptable to me because I am very active and snow ski and garden etc.

I think this method runs too much of a risk to my future ability to do things I like to do. I had lipo on my lower abdomen years ago. I do have more than enough fat on my upper abdomen. Can that be used? I am not comfortable with what I have been told so far.

AnswerThank you for your excellent question! I’m sorry you are having to go through breast reconstruction and breast cancer treatment. You make a very good point and I agree that you should not need to sacrifice your bodies important muscles in order to restore your body after having mastectomy.

In some circumstances it may be necessary but you should know that there are options that use your own natural fatty tissue without sacrificing your important muscles. You should also anticipate that you can continue to be active as before surgery. In our practice we frequently help patients who have had tummy lipo or other surgeries that make the tummy fat inadequate.

We can also use fatty tissue from the buttock or thigh area without sacrificing muscles or using silicone breast implants. Let me know if you would like more information.

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!