Breast Fat Transfer

Fat Transfer Breast augmentation without Implants, fact, or fiction?

Breast fat transfer for breast augmentation is one of the hottest cosmetic breast procedures.  Similar to Brazillian Butt Lift (BBL), fat is transferred from an undesired area to the desired area with the effect of completely changing the body shape.  If the procedure is expertly performed, the fat becomes a permanent breast size and shape enhancer.   It is intuitive and straightforward in concept.   Patients were asking for this well before it was understood and proven safe.   

Breast augmentation by fat transfer or breast implants?

The results of breast augmentation by implants and breast augmentation by fat transfer are generally different.  Patients who desire a natural breast size, natural breast shape, and have unwanted fat for harvest are the best candidates for breast fat transfer.  Patients who want larger breast sizes or an exaggerated upper fullness may be better candidates for breast implants

What are the advantages of breast fat transfer for augmentation?

  • Breast implant complications avoided including capsular contracture, rupture, malposition, and rippling
  • Breast implant illness, a poorly understood and rare condition, not a concern
  • No worry about implant imaging or future replacement surgery
  • Fat grafting feels more natural (a positive for some patients, a negative for others)

What are the disadvantages of breast fat transfer for augmentation?

  • Breast augmentation volume increase is limited to around 1 – 2 cup sizes
  • The breast size increase is less predictable
  • Some patients want the roundness that can only be achieved with an implant
  • The procedure is generally more expensive if multiple liposuction areas are chosen

What determines the breast size increase after fat transfer?

Imagine a sponge and a cup of water.   The amount of water the sponge can hold depends on the size of the sponge.   Similar is fat transfer.  Larger breasts can keep more fat before they are full and can accept no more fat.  It is unfair; patients with petite breasts can only get a modest increase in breast size.  The size increase possible is typically about double the starting breast size.   The good news is that the procedure is repeatable, and the new larger breasts that can accept more fat.

Best candidates for breast fat transfer breast augmentation?

  • Enough fat to harvest from undesired areas
  • Nice skin in the areas where fat will be harvested for smooth liposuction results
  • Breasts that are moderate in size.  If the breasts are too small, there may be minimal size increase
  • Breast with good skin elasticity and minimal droop

How long does breast fat transfer last?

Breast augmentation with fat transfer is a permanent procedure.   The transferred fat has a small degree of initial loss, but the fat that survives the transfer becomes a living part of the breast. 

What happens if I lose or gain weight?

Weight gains and losses will be noticed in the breasts, similar to fat elsewhere.  

Is it possible to remove implants and replace them with fat transfer?

Implant removal with fat grafting is a procedure that has increased in popularity in the past year.  There are several reasons a patient may decide she would have her implants removed.  Fat transfer to the breasts is an excellent option to maintain some of the size and fullness lost from implant removal for these patients.  

How is breast fat transfer done?

Breast fat transfer is essentially a liposuction procedure.   The ideal fat to use for breast transfer is stubborn, difficult to lose fat.  Rather than discarding the unwanted fat, it is collected into sterile canisters and transferred to the breasts.   The fat should be purified before grafting to improve the degree of viable fat.  Separation is accomplished by some combination of gravity, vibration, decanting or centrifugation.   The fat is then transferred to the breast with fine cannulas.   The amount of fat grafted depends on the size of the breast, tightness of skin envelope, and operative technique.  

What is the recovery after breast fat transfer?

The most difficult aspect of breast fat transfer recovery is the liposuction.   The areas of harvest are generally the most tender, which can last for a few weeks.  Most patients find they don’t need narcotic pain medications.  

Where should I go for breast Fat Transfer?

Simple in concept, but technically demanding, breast fat grafting is not a procedure for the untrained non-plastic surgeon.  A comprehensive understanding of liposuction, soft tissue grafting, and breast aesthetics are necessary foundations for anyone attempting to perform this procedure.   Unfortunately, most physicians offering fat grafting for breast augmentation are not plastic surgeons and did not complete plastic surgery training.  This stems from warnings from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to avoid fat grafting to the breast until it was further studied for safety.   The concerns were mammographic surveillance and the potential for inducing breast cancer.   These studies have been thus far favorable, and the procedure is slowly working its way into the board-certified plastic surgeon’s hands.    Insist your physician is a board-certified plastic surgeon for something as important as your safety and cosmetic outcomes.  

 

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Dr. York Yates
2121 N 1700 W
Layton, UT 84041
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Phone: (801) 525-8741

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2121 N 1700 W, Layton, UT 84041 801.525.8741


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