What is it?
Breast augmentation is among the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures every year. With recent advancements in breast augmentation techniques, patients are able to achieve a more natural look and feel following these procedures. Fat grafting, or fat transfer, has become a widely available technique that allows plastic surgeons to transfer fat from other areas of the body directly to the breast. This technique has been well received by patients and adds to the options for restoring and rejuvenating the natural breast contour.
How is it done?
Fat grafting is performed using standard liposuction technique. This process involves suctioning of fat from an area (typically the abdomen or hips) which is then centrifuged to isolate purified fat cells. Following processing of the isolated fat, the fat is then transferred into syringes which are subsequently used to inject at the desired location, in this case the breasts. The entire procedure is done under sterile conditions and typically under general anesthesia.
Who is a good candidate?
Good candidates for breast augmentation with fat grafting include those who desire modest breast enlargement and have abdominal or hip fat.
Fat grafting alone versus with implant
There are several applications for fat grafting. This procedure can be done alone or in adjunct with an implant-based breast augmentation. In both cases, the utilization of fat will provide a natural and aesthetically pleasing breast contour and feel. Breast augmentation with fat grafting alone may be used in patients who desire less volume and more restoration of contour and rejuvenation. Utilizing fat grafting together with an implant will provide the patient with larger volume augmentations with the added benefits provided by the fat transfer notably with breast reconstruction following treatment for breast cancer.
Recovery and followup from breast augmentation with fat grafting
Patients recovering from breast augmentation with liposuction and fat grafting typically have very little restrictions and are usually able to return to work after a few days. Some patients may experience a slight burning sensation at the liposuction sites which is typically mild and resolves after a few days.
It is important that you discuss followup following fat transfer or implant placement to the breast with your plastic surgeon. The future effects of fat grafting relate to surveillance of the breast later in life regarding physical examination, mammograms, and MRIs, and it is important that this is noted in your medical history for later in life.