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Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Benefits and Advantages

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Are you considering a breast augmentation procedure but want to avoid implants? Fat transfer is an option that uses your own body fat as filler material for sculpting the breast shape you desire.

There are important details you need to know before going through this advanced procedure of breast enhancement.

Key Takeaways of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentations

  • Fat transfer breast augmentation is a procedure that involves harvesting and purifying fat cells from other areas of the body, and injecting them into the breasts for natural-looking fullness.
  • This method offers many advantages over traditional implants, such as giving off a natural outcome and avoiding the insertion of foreign objects or devices in the body.
  • Finding a qualified surgeon who specializes in fat transfer breast augmentation ensures successful outcomes when considering this treatment.
  • Patients should assess if they make an ideal candidate, and discuss their goals with an experienced surgeon before undergoing this type of plastic surgery.

What is Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?

Fat transfer is a common breast augmentation method whereby fat cells are harvested from the patient’s body, purified and then injected into their breasts to add volume.

Breast Fat Transfer Procedure Overview

Fat transfer breast augmentation involves using liposuction to remove fat from other parts of the body, such as the abdomen, thighs and buttocks, and then injecting it into the breasts.

The transferred fat helps enhance both the size and shape of the breasts without breast implants. During this procedure, an experienced surgeon carefully extracts excess amounts of unwanted fat from its donor site using small cannulas through careful liposuction techniques.

The fat is cleansed and prepared before injecting back into strategic areas of each cup’s region to provide desired augmentation, while avoiding any unnecessary damage along the way to vital structures within the chest wall.

Using Liposuction to Harvest Fat

Breast fat transfer uses liposuction to harvest fat in various areas including the thighs, abdomen, and buttocks. The harvested fat is injected into the breast tissue, creating natural curves and enhancing breast size without the use of breast implants.

When it comes to breast enhancement, the body’s own fat has some major advantages over traditional implants. Since it is a living substance that comes within one’s own system, there are very low risks associated with it compared to other traditional cosmetic procedures involving silicon or saline implants.

Injecting the Fat Into the Breasts

After harvesting the fat cells via liposuction, they are then processed and purified for injection into the breasts. During this process, the impurities present in harvested fat are removed to ensure that only pure viable fat is used for creating fuller breasts.

Using small syringes or a cannula under local anesthesia, the surgeon injects multiple layers of purified and refined body fat into different locations on or around your breast tissue to maximize results with minimal damage.

This technique stimulates collagen production to enhance muscle tone and provide an overall improved appearance of your bust line with less risks than other implant methods.

Benefits of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

The procedure offers the unique benefit of natural-looking results without the use of any breast implant or any large surgical incisions.

Natural Results With Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

Fat transfer can provide patients with breasts that feel like it’s the pair they’ve been born with. Using the patient’s own fat, surgeons are able to increase their breast size and change their shape into how their clients want them to look.

The injected fat is naturally absorbed into the body, and this improves sagging breasts and gives a long lasting effect similar to a breast lift. This method provides a more desirable result than traditional breast implants, as it creates a more natural look while achieving desired enhancement outcomes.

Due to the use of the patient’s own tissue, there are no risks of rejection or any type of allergic reaction that come with plastic surgery.

Image Credit: LightFieldStudios  / 123RF.com (Licensed). 

No Foreign Devices or Breast Implants

Fat transfer breast augmentation is becoming an increasingly popular option for women seeking a natural and sustainable approach to making their breasts fuller. This procedure eliminates the need for breast implants, which tend to make a breast enhancement surgery too obvious to the public eye.

The advanced technique of fat transfer helps women achieve fuller and more contoured breasts, while simultaneously slimming or reshaping fatty areas with liposuction. As a result, they gain an improved aesthetic figure that looks and feels as if it’s always been there.

Long Lasting Effects

Fat transfer breast augmentation is an effective procedure for enhancing one’s breasts due to the use of the patient’s own tissue. This makes it practical for women who wish to have realistic looking results.

Fat grafting typically produces subtle changes in breast size and shape that can remain visible for many years depending on the individual’s lifestyle. The health and amount of fat cells injected directly affects longevity, as well as diet and exercise, which may affect weight loss over time. There are no guarantees that the fat volume will retain in the breasts for an indefinite time.

Sudden changes in routine can result in a return or redistribution of fat to the different locations where it was previously removed during liposuction. This can consequently make those body parts appear larger than before should the fat travel back to those areas.

How to Find a Surgeon for Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

An experienced surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation can help ensure successful outcomes.

Researching Qualified Surgeons

Researching plastic surgeons with expertise in this particular procedure can speed up a woman’s decision-making process as they can determine whether the interested patient is a viable candidate for the procedure, or if there are better breast enhancement methods that would better fit them.

Patients should review each doctor’s credentials such as board certifications and medical degrees that confirm their expertise in safely performing fat transfer breast augmentation. It’s best to have many different options for a plastic surgeon rather than setting your mind into just one.

Reviews online detailing each doctor’s work to get an idea about their patient care and success rate compared to other doctors can help trim a list of potential surgeons. Ultimately, women should decide which surgeon best fits their needs and budget. It’s recommended to find a physician who listens to patient concerns throughout the process, and is available to answer any questions regarding the procedure.

Reading Reviews and Testimonials

Actual patient testimonials show the experiences of real people who have undergone this type of procedure.

Using these sources to gain valuable insights into what it feels like before, during, and after surgery, can help interested patients to decide whether a fat transfer procedure is the right option for them. Many reviews provide information such as cost estimates, average recovery times, and general opinions on whether or not it is worth doing.

By hearing from others who have already had fat transfer breast augmentation done, those considering are able to get a better understanding of what the results may be. Testimonials often contain detailed descriptions and images showing both immediate post-op results and long-term effects many months later down the line.

Scheduling Regular Consultations

Consultations are an important part in the process of seeking out a qualified surgeon for fat transfer breast augmentation. It provides an opportunity to discuss treatment options, ask questions about the procedure, and evaluate your candidacy as a suitable candidate for fat transfer.

During the initial consultation, patients may request before and after images of their previous patients’ results, and ask for information on potential risks associated with the procedure. It is beneficial to schedule consultations with multiple surgeons in order to compare their expertise and pricing, as well as ensure that you feel comfortable establishing a rapport with them.

Is Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Right for Me?

Patients considering fat transfer breast augmentation should evaluate their candidacy before proceeding with the procedure and discuss their goals and expectations with a qualified surgeon.

Evaluating Suitability for Fat Transfer

The most important factor in a successful procedure is ensuring eligibility for the treatment. To determine qualifications, surgeons will look at age (generally candidates should be 18 years or older), overall health and weight, and how much fat can realistically be taken from other parts of the body for grafting.

Women who are interested in this type of procedure but are unable to have traditional implants because of medical reasons, may still be able to have a back fat transfer procedure done safely. Also, women who seek natural-looking results often find that fat graft procedures provide more pleasing results compared to synthetic implants.

It’s important for women considering the surgery to discuss their goals and expectations with their surgeon before committing so they know what outcomes to expect.

Discussing Goals and Expectations With a Surgeon

Before undergoing a fat transfer breast augmentation, it is important to have an open communication about the procedure and its outcomes with the plastic surgeon. This can help create realistic expectations that align with the patient’s desired outcome.

It can furthermore help ensure safety while allowing for any of the patient’s concerns or questions to be addressed, and provide an opportunity for discussion regarding procedural options, safety measures, and post-operative care requirements. A board certified plastic surgeon has knowledge about the best strategies to modify breast shape and contour, since every woman requires different amounts of breast volume.

The consultation can help determine if a patient’s body type fits into fat grafting recommendations for success. Qualified surgeons also use this time to perform a medical evaluation to ensure that there are no identifiable health risks or potential complications that may arise during and after the surgery.

The skillful blend of artistry and science, combined with experience allows plastic surgeons to carefully craft breasts that look natural yet meet their clients desires.

Image Credit: Artem Medvediev  / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Considering Alternative Breast Augmentation Options

Before making a final decision on which breast augmentation procedure is best, it’s important to evaluate the pros and cons of all available options. Fat transfer breast augmentation provides some distinct advantages compared to traditional implants, such as using a patient’s own body fat for a more realistic-looking enlargement and fewer potential risks. But there are other natural procedures that may be suitable alternatives depending on each individual’s needs.

Fat transfer requires two surgical sites to remove and inject the fat, whereas traditional implants of silicone gel or saline offer predictable results with a quicker recovery time. Traditional implants cost more than fat transfer and their life span is shorter than utilizing one’s own body tissue. However, most research shows that modern breast implants last over ten years before needing replacement in many cases.

Women interested in increasing their cup size should weigh these factors when selecting between breast implant methods versus fat transfer techniques, since each option has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

The Difference Between Fat Transfer and Traditional Breast Implants

Fat transfer and traditional breast implants differ in terms of effects, risks, and safety.

Pros and Cons of Each Method

Fat transfer breast augmentation is a less invasive procedure than traditional breast implant surgery, resulting in smaller incisions (usually around 4 mm). The process of fat harvesting and injecting it into the breasts provide improved natural-looking results.

Depending on an individual’s body type, fat transfer may not offer the same level of enlargement as other methods. However, it can be further increased with a combination of implants and grafting techniques.

While the longevity and outcome vary from patient-to-patient, breast implants typically last longer than non-invasive treatments such as fillers or injections, with minimal downtime for initial recovery following surgical procedures.

Fat transfer carries more risk since it involves treatment in two areas instead of one. The harvested area could cause scarring or significant loss in skin elasticity if too much fat was removed. It also has higher costs due to its complexity compared to silicone implants. The number of sessions needed before the desired results are achieved can even make it more financially straining.

Comparing Results, Risks, and Safety

Breast fat transfer augmentation offers patients a realistic looking result that can be achieved without breast implants. This method also avoids potential complications associated with traditional implant surgery, such as Capsular Contracture, infection and tissue rejection.

Fat transfers involve minimal risks, but may experience fat loss over time due to fat reabsorption and calcification in the breasts from the injected fat cells. Results typically last around 1 to 5 years before requiring additional treatments for further enhancement.

With traditional breast implants, patients can see the results more quickly than with fat grafts, but must concur to increased surgical risks including infection caused by bacteria seeping into an improperly sealed device, or skin abrasion caused by anesthesia used during surgeries.

Patients who undergo this type of augmentation will need to pay close attention to their health afterwards as they are at greater risk for developing certain medical conditions linked to foreign devices in the body after surgery has been completed.

Scarring Irregularities

Calcification and lumps can appear after fat transfer, just as with other breast procedures. The American Society of Plastic Surgery has determined that structural fat grafting to the breast is safe and does not lead to a higher rate of breast cancer. There also is no evidence that it makes it more difficult to detect breast cancer.

What to Expect During Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

Discuss any medications and health issues with the doctor and undergo a physical exam as part of pre-procedure preparations. Patients may need to have blood or other lab work done prior to surgery, depending on their medical history. They may also be instructed to stop smoking or reduce alcohol consumption to improve results after fat transfer breast augmentation.

Women should always follow the guidelines given by their surgeon when preparing for fat grafting procedures to ensure maximum safety and achieving best outcomes.

Details of the Fat Transfer Procedure

Fat transfer breast augmentation is a procedure which uses the body’s own natural fat resources to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. The procedure involves harvesting fat from other areas of your body, such as the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks through liposuction. This collected fat is then processed before being injected into your breasts in order to increase volume and improve their shape.

Compared with traditional implant-based breast augmentation techniques, fat transfer offers a less invasive option which allows for fewer potential risks and complications, while also providing more natural looking results.

Type of Anesthesia Used for Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

General anesthesia is commonly used to help ensure patient comfort throughout the procedure. This makes it possible for the patient to sleep through the entire surgery without experiencing any discomfort or pain.

The method of delivery depends on a variety of factors, such as level of fat being transferred, amount of blood vessels, the coverage area, and the entire procedure time. Aside from general anesthesia, there are other pain management methods available such as local anesthetic injections with intravenous sedation and tumescent anesthesia (a combination of lidocaine, adrenaline and saline).

Regional nerve blocks may be used in order to numb larger areas so that patients can remain conscious during surgery, but not feel any sensation from their chest down. During the preoperative consultation, the surgeon will discuss all available options and make appropriate recommendations based on the patient’s requirements.

Recovery and Downtime

After undergoing a fat transfer, most patients experience around one week of recovery. During this time, it’s important to rest and limit movement as much as possible in order to allow the body to properly heal. Following post-op instructions helps ensure successful results.

Recovery from fat transfer breast augmentation takes 3 to 6 months, after which patients may resume activities like swimming or exercising that may have been restricted during the initial recovery phase. Swelling and bruising around the breasts is normal and should subside within 1 to 2 weeks.

Risks and Safety of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

This procedure carries its own set of risks to consider. Potential complications include death of fat cells, reabsorption of fat, or infection. These need to be managed through proper post-op care.

Fat transfer is a complex procedure and can lead to the development of cysts, micro-calcification, thick scars, formation of hard nodules, fat embolism, and the redistribution of existing breast tissue.

Studies suggest that fat grafting is preferred over traditional implants due to its reduced time of risk complications. Women should thoroughly discuss all possible risks with their doctor before going under the knife.

Proper Post-Operative Care and Monitoring

Following all instructions provided by the surgeon helps minimize risks and ensure proper healing. Post-op care also assists in managing the pain, swelling, and bruising that typically comes after a successful operation.

Regular follow up appointments after the procedure helps in monitoring a patient’s recovery progress. It’s important not to miss any check-ups, as this is vital to rehabilitation of the torso and to overall physical health.

Longevity of Fat Cells Transferred During Breast Augmentation

Studies have shown that fat transfer breast augmentation has a high rate of long-term success and can last for several years.

The duration of the results depends on several factors including: the quality of harvested fat cells, volume retention rate after transferring to breasts, lifestyle choices (diet and light exercise), weight changes, trauma caused to graft site, and amount of post-op care taken by patients.

Studies have reported a volume retention rate up to 57%, giving an insight that more than half of transferred fat cells survive in new sites. It typically takes a month before patients start noticing permanent results with minimal shrinkage. After which, further shrinking will eventually stop, retaining the final outcome achieved for as long as possible.

Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Factors That May Affect Longevity

The exact length of effects depends on several factors such as lifestyle choices, weight fluctuations, and individual healing abilities. These may cause early fat absorption or excess fat reabsorption over time, which could lead to reduced augmentation volume. Therefore, it is important for patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle and carry out regular physical activities so they can preserve their desired aesthetic outcome from the procedure.

Regular consultations with a plastic surgeon also helps in monitoring any changes in shape or consistency of the breasts after a fat transfer surgery.

Image Credit: Kuprevich / 123RF.com (Licensed). 

Frequently Asked Questions About Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation

1. What is Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?

Fat transfer breast augmentation, is a procedure that uses liposuction to collect fat from other areas of the body and transplant it into the breasts, for the purpose of increasing size and improving shape.

2. Are There Any Risks Associated With this Type of Surgery?

There can be complications such as asymmetry between the breasts, skin irregularities, scarring around injection sites, and potential for re-absorption or rejection of injected material into target areas.

3. Will I Need Additional Treatments After My Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?

Yes, initially you may need follow-up sessions where your doctor will monitor your progress and resolve any issues through further injections.

4. How Should I Prepare for Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?

Patient evaluations prior surgery should be completed within a 30-day period before the scheduled procedure. It’s also recommended to stop taking medications and avoid caffeine 24 hours within hospital admission. Abstaining from smoking and alcohol consumption 48 hours leading up towards operation is also advised.

Conclusion and Summary of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Benefits and Advantages

Breast augmentation through fat transfer is a natural, long-lasting solution that helps many women achieve beautiful breast enhancement results without using breast implants. It ultimately gives breasts a fuller and natural appearance, while also improving small irregularities and grooves using the fat injected from other parts of the body.

While it does come with certain risks such as fat necrosis and reabsorption, these are typically less invasive when compared to traditional breast augmentation methods.

Research qualified plastic surgeons in your area, and have an open dialogue about expectations before committing. Fat transfer is considered by many to be a viable option for those seeking an alternative to traditional breast augmentation.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.

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About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is a respected Board Certified Licensed Plastic Surgeon in Orange County / Southern California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-241-0646 or 949-945-0025 directly.