Fat Grafting and Breast Enhancement
Ever wanted to take body fat from some area, and move it to the breasts? Advances in fat grafting methods pioneered by plastic surgeons now make this a very real option.
A three step process is used:
- use special liposuction techniques to gently harvest the fat from the donor area;
- prepare the fat for injection with a centrifuge or special filter device;
- carefully place the fat into the recipient site in a slow controlled manner, so that fat survives the transfer.
This method is now routinely used for breast enhancement for patients who request it, instead of using an implant. Typically, about a 1 to 1.5 cup size increase in breast volume can be obtained with fat grafting to the breast. No implants are used – so there’s no implant that could potentially leak or become hardened, plus there’s the benefit of the improved shape in the area where the fat was removed!
How is fat grafting different than using breast implants?
There are pros and cons for both procedures. For example:
- Implants allow for larger size changes than fat grafting does.
- Implants can give more fullness in the upper portion of the breast than fat grafting does.
- The initial cost of implant surgery is typically less than fat grafting.
- Fat grafting never gets capsular contracture.
- 100% Natural – fat grafting does not involve use of a foreign material. It’s your own tissue.
- Fat grafting looks very natural.
- “Scarless” -there are no incisional scars on the breast with fat grafting.
- Once a stable fat grafting result is obtained after 3 months of healing, the transferred fat will stay in its new location. There’s no need for implant replacement surgery in 10-15 years, as you typically would with implants.
Is it important to prepare the breast prior to fat grafting?
Yes. There’s good scientific data that supports the use of the BRAVA device to prepare the breast before fat grafting is done. The BRAVA uses gentle suction to expand the breast tissue, and increase blood flow to the breast – and it significantly improves the percentage of fat that survives the move to the new location in the breast.
What if I want to go larger after my first fat grafting?
Additional sessions can certainly be performed, once the first round of grafting has healed.
What if I’m too skinny for fat grafting?
Well – that is a drawback. You could simply use implants, or gain some weight prior to the fat transfer procedure.
What about future mammograms? Will fat grafting cause a problem with those?
This has been intensively studied over the past few years, as it has long been a concern. Fortunately, current studies show that the changes in the mammogram with fat grafting are about the same as those seen after breast reduction surgery, an operation that has been around for decades. Experienced mammographers will have no issues sorting out these changes.
Can fat grafting be combined with other operations?
Yes. It is very useful when combined with a breast lift, in order to give more fullness is the upper portion of the breast without the use of an implant. Fat grafting is also useful in patients who already have implants, but have issues with rippling or who would like a narrower cleavage. Additionally, fat grafting can be used to restore breast volume after implant removal.