PATIENT RESOURCES / DR’s Blog
Breast Fat Transfer: Obtaining Natural Breast Augmentation Using Your Own Fat
Have you ever dreamed of taking fat from your problem spot and using it to make your breasts larger? Perhaps you can. Fat transfer has been around for over 25 years, but has only recently started to become a popular method for breast augmentation in North America. It has long been popular in Europe and South America. Breast fat transfer entails liposuction to remove fat from a stubborn area on the body. This fat is then prepared and injected into the breast. It is a very meticulous procedure, added drop by drop, and can be time consuming. Each droplet of fat has to be individually placed to provide the best shape as well as to ensure the best fat survival. However, the results can be exquisite. Your breasts will feel perfectly natural because it is your own fat being used.
You may wonder why something that sounds so good is not done by all plastic surgeons. Part of the reason is just how meticulous the fat has to be placed. As I mentioned, fat has to be placed drop by drop! If it isn’t, the fat does not survive and the results are suboptimal. Quite frankly, many surgeons don’t have the patience for this type of surgery.
Other benefits of this procedure include liposuction to that area of fat which otherwise never seems to disappear. Not only do you get to take fat from an area you don’t want it and put it into an area you do, there are virtually no scars. For women wanting to avoid an implant it is also a very good choice. Typically, it is a better procedure for women wanting a smaller breast augmentation.
For a larger breast augmentation, an implant is still a better choice. Also, fat grafting works better in someone that has a nice shape to the breast and does not need a lift. In some cases, fat is used for women that have implants but their tissue coverall is so limited that the implant would be visible. Fat grafting can be used to conceal the appearance of the implant. This can give a very natural looking result.
Is breast fat transfer to the breast permanent?
The simple answer is yes it is permanent. The more complex answer is this: after your procedure there will be some fat that does not survive and your body will reabsorb it. Over the first couple months in addition to fat resorption, there will be some loss of volume from swelling resolution. However, at around three months, whatever fat you have is likely permanent. It responds like fat does anywhere… you put on weight, the volume increases; you lose weight, the volume decreases.
How big can you go with a breast fat transfer?
The volume of fat to be transferred is limited by the size of the breasts to begin with, and the amount of fat to be harvested. As a rough idea, even if you have more than enough fat, you could approximately double your breast volume as a maximum in one procedure. Not all fat survives, so you will lose some. It varies how much that “some” will be. With meticulous harvesting and placement of fat, this number can approach 60-80% at the high end. The reason not all fat survives is multi factorial, but a significant component is the technique used by different surgeons.
Anyone not willing to take the time to place each fat droplet individually, simply will not get the best results possible. For optimal results, make sure you choose a plastic surgeon who focuses on this technique and who has done a lot of fat grafting.