INTRODUCTION: Breast reconstruction is an essential step in the treatment of patients with breast cancer. Fat grafting is an important resource for improved esthetic results. Recently, however, some authors have questioned the safety of fat grafting, suggesting that this technique can increase the risk of local tumor recurrence.
METHODS: A retrospective, cross-sectional cohort study was conducted through a review of medical records of patients who underwent breast reconstruction with fat grafting by the Plastic Surgery Division of the Clinical Hospital of the Ribeirão Preto Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (FMRP-USP), from 2006 to 2010.
RESULTS: We selected 18 patients, of whom eight (44%) had ductal carcinoma by histology. Three patients (17%) underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and of these, two (11%) were also subjected to adjuvant chemotherapy. Nine (50%) received only adjuvant chemotherapy. Eleven patients (61%) underwent adjuvant radiotherapy, and thirteen (72%) had hormonal therapy. For breast reconstruction, eight patients (44.4%) underwent a transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap procedure, six (33.3%) had an expander and prostheses, and four (22.2%) underwent a procedure with the latissimus dorsi muscle flap and prostheses. The number of fat grafting sessions ranged from one to four. No cases of locoregional recurrence of breast cancer were identified.
CONCLUSION: There has been no evidence of locoregional recurrence to date, demonstrating that fat grafting is a reliable and safe procedure for improving the results of breast reconstruction after cancer treatment.
Keywords: Breast reconstruction; Breast cancer; Fat grafting; Tumor recurrence.