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Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer

Breast augmentation, also referred to as augmentation mammoplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure opted by many women around the world either to increase their breast size or to attain symmetry and overall better body proportions.

Among many techniques, breast augmentation using implants is a traditional way for enhancement of breasts, but it is unable to provide the natural look and feel that many women wish for when opting for the procedure. Therefore, new procedures employing better techniques have been introduced, breast augmentation with fat transfer, in particular, offers natural-looking results.

In this article, we will be answering some of the most important questions that you may have related to breast enhancement with fat transfer.

What Is Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?

Breast augmentation with fat transfer, also known as autologous fat implantation, requires fat from the candidate, that is usually harvested from the hips, thighs, or abdomen through liposuction. Liposuction is a surgical procedure that helps contour and reshape the body by removing excess fat from specific areas of the body. Hence fat transfer breast augmentation comes with the added benefit of the removal of excess fat from certain parts of the body.

After liposuction, the harvested fat is purified before it is implanted in the breast tissue. It is then strategically re-injected into the breast tissue to increase the size, restore symmetry, or reshape the breast. The resulting size and shape of the breast depend upon the amount of fat re-injected. In most candidates, it takes about 3 to 6 months for the body to incorporate any fat graft, hence the final shape and size of the breast will be most evident after said time.

The procedure causes minimal scarring and is useful in restoring breast shape in women who have lost breast volume after pregnancy or even due to weight loss. It is also used to correct minor asymmetries and candidates end up with a more natural look than with traditional breast augmentation.

This procedure is also less invasive than implant placement hence recovery is quicker than implant augmentation. Additionally, fat grafting has a lower risk of implants associated reactions.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?

Breast augmentation with fat transfer is the ideal procedure for those looking for minimal to moderate increment in breast size (one-to-two cup size increase) and have areas of unwanted fat. An ideal candidate would have minimal asymmetry, good shape, and ideal skin elasticity. On the other hand, women with heavy and saggy breasts, who are looking for a significant increase in breast size and have excess skin should opt for other traditional breast augmentation surgeries involving implants, or breast lift with auto-augmentation. In addition to this, pregnant or breastfeeding women are not good candidates for breast enhancement with fat transfer. Breast augmentation has proven to be a useful technique for women across the globe, in restoring their self-esteem, and helping them achieve their ideal look. Breast augmentation with fat transfer is now becoming increasingly popular among women who want a more natural scar-free breast enhancement and do not prefer implants.

How Is the Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation Done?

Fat transfer is a three-step procedure. Before surgery is initiated, general anesthesia is given. Next, the surgeon marks the sites from where they will be removing fat. They will also make markings on your breasts where an incision will be made.

The three steps of breast enlargement with fat transfer are explained below for your better understanding.

  • Liposuction

    Liposuction is a surgical procedure employed for the removal of excess fat by utilizing high pressure. In fat transfer breast enlargement, your surgeon will make an incision on the donor site and remove the fat cells by using liposuction.

  • Processing

    After they are harvested, fat cells undergo purification and processing. Processing allows surgeons to use fat cells that are healthy and have a long-term survival rate.

  • Re-injection

    After making a tiny incision at the base of your breasts, the processed fat will be transferred into them.

The estimated time for the whole procedure is from half an hour to 2 hours.

What Should You Expect After the Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation?

After the surgery has been performed, you will be discharged on the same day. The recovery period depends on the number of sites that have been used for fat removal.

You may experience some discomfort, such as bruising and swelling on the donor sites, but this is nothing worrisome and the side effects usually subside spontaneously within 1-3 weeks. During this period, you are advised to rest as much as you can and avoid going to work and exercising. Utilizing compression garments to cover the donor sites may also help with the symptoms.

Additionally, you may also feel an aching sensation in your breasts, but it will also fade away after 1 or 2 weeks. Do not use bras that are too tight.

As for the results of the surgery, you will be able to notice them after a period of 3 to 6 months.

What Are the Advantages of Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?

Breast augmentation with fat transfer is a procedure of choice for many women due to a number of reasons:

  • Natural procedure:

    Fat transfer breast augmentation is a natural breast enhancement procedure as it does not require the use of any foreign or artificial substance to be inserted into your body. This allows your breasts to get a natural look as well as feel.

  • Reshaping of the body:

    Since this natural breast enhancement procedure takes fat from different parts of your body, the shape of your body changes in a positive way. From getting enhanced breasts to having a slimmer body due to fat removal from areas with excess fat, you can get a desirable body shape through this procedure.

  • Minimal scarring:

    For breast enhancement with fat transfer, only tiny incisions are made by the surgeon. Due to the procedure being minimally invasive, your body will be almost scarless, making it a virtually scar-free breast enhancement procedure.

  • Safer option:

    As far as breast implants are concerned, there are certain risks associated with them, including the implants collapsing or rupturing. You do not have to worry about these risks when breast enhancement with fat transfer is done.

What Are the Disadvantages of Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?

Some downsides of this scar-free fat transfer breast enhancement procedure are:

  • Limited enhancement:

    If you are wishing for a greater increase in your breast size, this natural enhancement procedure is not for you. Your breasts will only be enlarged by one to two cup sizes.

  • No lifting of breasts:

    The breast lift that you may get after having breast implants is not guaranteed in fat transfer breast augmentation. Furthermore, this procedure cannot prevent the natural sagging that happens after pregnancy or as age progresses.

  • Reabsorption of fat:

    Even though plastic surgeons try their best to transfer fat in a way that ensures its high survival chances, your body may end up reabsorbing some of the fat. This causes your breast to lose some of the enhancement.

Now that we have discussed some of the most important aspects of the procedure, let’s take a quick look at some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Should I Do Before Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?

You may be asked to avoid smoking as it can cause complications during the procedure. You may also have to stop taking certain medications such as blood thinners.

Is Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer A Painful Procedure?

Fat transfer for breast augmentation will not cause you any pain. During the procedure, general anesthesia will be given, which means you will be unconscious and have no memory of the procedure or feel any pain.

How Long Does Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer Last?

The results of breast enhancement with fat transfer are permanent as the fat cells that are used in the procedure are harvested from the candidate’s own body. However, the attachment of these fat cells to the vasculature (blood supply) present in the breasts occurs after a while, allowing them to get nutrients for survival.

For the fat cells that did not survive for any reason, you want to undergo the procedure again after 6-12 months to further the enhancement.

What Are the Risks Associated with Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?

There are certain risks associated with fat transfer breast augmentation, just like any other surgical procedure. These are not very common given that precautions are followed and include:

  • Infection

  • Formation of cysts

  • Death of fat cells

  • Microcalcification

Can A Slim Woman Undergo Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?

Though slim women are not ideal candidates for breast enhancement with fat transfer, our plastic surgeons have the skills to perform this surgery in these women. Moreover, if you consider yourself very skinny, you may be asked to gain some weight before the procedure is performed on you.

What Is the Difference Between Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation and Breast Implantation?

Both the procedures are essentially done to enhance the breast size. Fat transfer breast augmentation is mainly focused on taking fat cells from a region of your body and transferring them to your breasts. Meanwhile, when your breasts are enlarged through breast implants, foreign substances are inserted into your body.