Fat grafting, or fat transfer, is becoming a more popular option for breast augmentation. But is it a good one? It could be! Fat grafting breast augmentation is 100% natural, so you won’t have to worry about any of the risks typically associated with implants, but there are many factors to consider. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions at our Chicagoland plastic surgery offices:
Am I A Candidate For Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?
As with most elective cosmetic procedures, patients will need to be healthy with stable weight, and possess enough donor sites for fat transfer. The typical areas of liposuction are the abdomen and love handles, although you can remove fat in other locations. Also, a full breast history and physical exam will be required. If patients are above 40, we recommend a mammogram. Good candidates are patients that like the idea of natural enhancement without foreign material. Also, women may have their own breast tissue and desire a small correction.
What Are The Realistic Result Expectations In Size?
This is a common question, and we have to be realistic about final cup size because fat grafting will usually not replace volume from an implant. With fat transfer, women may increase by 1/2-1 cup size. The typical amount of transfer is about 200-300cc per breast.
If you desired more dramatic results, say 1-2 cup sizes, then implants may be a better option.
In certain situations, we perform a hybrid augmentation, combining implants and fat to get the desired results. This allows me to place a smaller implant and use the fat to build cleavage and upper pole or soften the implant edges.
Can Fat Transfer Correct Sagging Breasts?
Fat can be used to supplement the breasts to improve the cleavage and upper pole, but saggy breasts should be corrected with a breast lift (mastopexy). A breast lift will tighten the skin and reshape the breasts. I do like to use fat grafting to enhance the breast lift surgery and often combine liposuction of the axilla to improve overall shape of the chest.
Is Fat Transfer Less Or More Invasive Than Breast Implant Augmentation?
Both procedures are considered moderately invasive. With fat transfer there is no incision or pocket dissection, the fat is harvested by traditional liposuction methods and then injected into various areas of the breast. Patients do like the benefit of liposuction.
Breast implants require a small incision and muscle release to place the implants.
Both methods require monitoring and can present their own risks, although with low frequency. With implants, scar tissue may form causing a capsular contracture. With fat grafting, oil cysts may form, requiring mammograms or biopsies. It is really important that the fat harvested is purified so that risks of fat necrosis or cysts can be minimized. Also, the grafted fat is permanent and will respond to weight fluctuations. Graft survival is variable and can be up to 50%.
Is Fat Transfer Less Or More Expensive Than Breast Implant Augmentation?
Usually, fat grafting to breasts may cost more than implant-based augmentation due to the added steps of liposuction. As with any of our services, we offer multiple payment options.
What Is Your Preferred Method Of Augmentation?
In general, I favor the use of implants and will consider fat grafting to address small areas such as cleavage. I like the idea of maximizing volume for women but not use oversized implants. In addition, I want to minimize risks that may occur with breast detection, so high volume fat grafting is not ideal.
Fat grafting to breasts is common in breast reconstruction patients, and many of the applications are carried over to aesthetic breast surgery. When used with appropriate indications, fat grafting to breasts can be wonderful option.
If you are interested in a Breast Augmentation consultation with Dr. Shah, contact our Orland Park office at 708.614.6600 or submit a consultation request form here.