Immediate lipofilling in breast conserving surgery

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2017 Aug;43(8):1402-1408. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2017.03.014. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Background: The aim of breast conserving surgery (BCS) is to excise the cancer with clear margins whilst at the same time leaving a good or excellent cosmetic result. A significant percentage of women, who have large cancers or have limited breast volumes, achieve poor cosmetic outcomes. BCS with immediate volume replacement using lipofilling or autologous fat transfer is a new technique. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cosmetic outcomes of a pilot study of patients having BCS and immediate lipofilling performed in The Edinburgh Breast Unit.

Methods: Questionnaires were mailed to 35 women who had BCS with immediate lipofilling and completed by 32 and results compared with those from a contemporary series of 39 women who had BCS alone. The cancers were significantly larger in the lipofilling group (median 21 mm vs. 16 mm p = 0.011) and the patients were non-significantly younger (median age 49 years vs. 54 p = 0.06).

Results: At a median follow-up of 36 months, results from the Breast Q™ questionnaire showed significantly better cosmetic outcomes with lipofilling (most p < 0.001) and less local breast symptoms (p = 0.0045). There have been no local recurrences in either group and only 1 of the 35 patients was recalled following post-operative surveillance annual mammography.

Conclusion: BCS and immediate lipofilling provides superior cosmetic outcomes to standard BCS.

Keywords: Autologous fat transfer; Breast cancer; Breast conserving surgery; Cosmetic outcome; Lipofilling.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / transplantation*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods*
  • Mastectomy, Segmental / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Treatment Outcome