What is breast augmentation with fat transfer?
A recently popularized surgical technique, breast augmentation with fat transfer (also known as “natural” breast augmentation) does NOT involve the use of an implant. Instead, fat is transferred from one area of the body (such as the abdomen, flanks or thighs) with liposuction and then placed in the breast tissue. This unique procedure can produce conservative increases in breast size. Typically, the breasts will increase by about 1/2 to 1 cup size. The procedure can be repeated at a later date if fat is available and further enhancement is desired.
How does breast augmentation with fat transfer compare to the use of an implant?
Several factors must be considered in comparing the two techniques. The majority of patients will benefit from the use of a breast implant to achieve their goals however the fat transfer may be a better-suited option for some.
The advantages of breast augmentation with fat transfer when compared to the use of an implant include:
Less scarring – fat is transferred to the breast via small needle sites. There is no continuous incision as with an implant
No maintenance of implant or implant concerns – since a breast implant is not being used, there is no risk of implant-related problems such as capsular contracture, implant rupture, or implant malposition. In addition, there is no need to maintain the implant over your life.
Fat removed from areas where it is not desired – liposuction allows Dr. Sailon to remove fat from elsewhere in the body. This allows these areas of problematic fat to be contoured.
Disadvantages and limitations of the technique include:
Small size increase – the technique is limited in its ability to dramatically increase the size of the breast. Typically, about a 1/2 to 1 cup size increase can be expected. If one desires more of an increase with this technique, multiple surgeries may be required. Thinner women will have less fat that can be harvested safely without creating deformities.
Breast lumps or cysts – these may form in areas of the breast where the fat was placed. A controversial topic in the world of plastic surgery, there is a concern they may obscure routine breast cancer screening and mammogram imaging.
Are multiple surgeries required?
The answer to this question depends largely on your goals. The amount of fat that can be transferred at once is limited and can increase the size of the breast by 1/2 to 1 cup size. If you desire a greater increase, it may be necessary to either use an implant as in a standard breast augmentation or repeat the fat transfer technique. Typically, repeat fat transfers are separated by a period of at least 6 months.
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