Liposuction has always been part of the breast reduction surgery by reducing fat around the arm pit or as an adjunct to the more standard breast reduction technique. Until 1991 it had not been used as the sole modality for breast reduction. It was experimental at the time, but the advantages are clear.
These are some of the statistics:
- Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among U.S. women, accounting for more than 1 in 4 cancers.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
- One out of eight American women who live to be 85 years of age will develop breast cancer, a risk that was one out of 14 in 1960.
- 2.4 million Women living in the U.S. have been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer.
- An estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in American women during 2009. About 1,910 new cases of breast cancer are expected in men. In addition, an estimated 62,280 cases of in situ breast cancer (both DCIS and LCIS) are expected, with 85 percent being DCIS.
- An estimated 40,610 breast cancer deaths are anticipated this year.
One of the most important risk factors for cancer detection is breast density and the denser the breast the more difficult it is to detect cancer. This is an incontrovertible fact. There is no question that liposuction of the breast increases breast density by the removal of fat resulting more compacted breast tissue in a smaller breast. The consequence of a denser breast renders the mammographic imaging and interpretation more difficult. Current diagnostic tests rely on differentials in tissue density, which in turn depends on the presence of fat in the breast tissue. Another issue to consider would be the possibility that the liposuction could potentially spread the cancer cells.
Arguments to refute these claims of detection assert the problems are marginal at best and that calcifications, change in breast architecture, and scarring is no different than in traditional breast reduction procedures. The question is whether the degree of change in the breast is significant enough to discard a useful procedure. There are currently ongoing studies with multispecialty disciplines to answer these questions. For the present, liposuction breast reduction is a widely used procedure.