One technique to correct disfiguring deformities after breast cancer surgery is autologous fat transfer (AFT or fat grafting), which involves injecting a patient's own fat into a soft tissue deformity.
Previous studies examining the safety of this procedure in regard to cancer relapse have been limited by a relatively short follow-up.
This study included nearly 600 women with breast cancer who underwent fat grafting or conventional breast reconstruction. After five years of follow-up, fat grafting wasn't associated with increased rates of cancer relapse, with no significant difference in the rate of cancer relapse between the two groups.
Although the study didn't demonstrate significant differences in recurrence rates, it cannot eliminate the possibility that an association between AFT and cancer relapse may still be present.