, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 641-645
Date: 05 Nov 2010

Sepsis With Multiple Abscesses After Massive Autologous Fat Grafting for Augmentation Mammoplasty: A Case Report

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



Autologous fat grafting to the breast for breast reconstruction and cosmetic breast augmentation has gained much attention recently. However, its efficacy and the severities of its associated complications are of concern. The authors experienced one case of multiple breast abscesses after augmentation mammoplasty by autologous fat grafting.


A 42-year-old woman presented to the authors’ emergency department reporting tenderness, swelling, and a sensation of heat in both breasts. The patient had undergone augmentation mammoplasty by autologous fat grafting 7 days previously. Abscess formation was suspected based on the patient’s history, physical examination, laboratory findings, and image study.


Incision and drainage were performed immediately with the patient under general anesthesia, and 500 ml of a foul, brown, turbid, purulent fluid containing necrotic fat debris was drained from each breast. Empiric antibiotics were started on the first hospital day, and betadine and saline-irrigation were administered daily for 2 weeks. Incisions were closed on hospital day 19 when laboratory data and local infection signs had improved. At the patient’s 9-month follow-up assessment, breast contours were found to be well preserved, and scarring was minimal.


Immediate complications such as edema, hematoma, and infection require serious consideration after autologous fat grafting in the breast. In particular, infection probably is the most serious complication because the volume of the fat injected is large and can induce systemic infections such as sepsis and distort the contours of the breast. To avoid such infections, systemic and multicenter studies are required to determine how fat grafting should be performed to minimize the risks of fat necrosis and infection.