How much fat do you need for a fat transfer breast augmentation?
What is Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?
A breast augmentation with fat transfer is a surgical procedure that reshapes your breasts into the shape and size you desire by using your body’s own fat. In recent years, breast augmentations with fat transfer have increased in popularity due to advances in surgical technology, providing women with a more natural alternative to other types of breast augmentation, such as the more commonly known method of breast augmentation with implants.
Breast augmentation with fat transfer is considered a more natural alternative to breast implants because it increases your breast size using your own body fat rather than synthetic fillers or objects. In addition, it has the added benefit of reducing the size of other parts of your body, like your tummy, love handles, thighs, or buttocks using liposuction.
This natural breast augmentation can help those who are looking to address cosmetic issues such as:
. Small breasts due to genetics
. Asymmetrical breasts
. Decreased breast size or shape due to pregnancy and breastfeeding
. Decreased breast size or volume due to significant weight loss
. Decreased breast size, shape, or volume due to aging
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Before Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer
Are you a good candidate for a Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer?
Fat transfer is a great option for women who have lost breast volume due to weight loss or pregnancy and have a few “trouble spots” elsewhere that they’d like to correct. There are some women who wish to have larger breasts but are less than thrilled to have synthetic objects in their body. This natural boob job is a great solution for those who like to live their lives as naturally as possible.
If you’re interested in both liposuction and moderate breast enhancement, a breast augmentation with fat transfer may be the right choice for you.
Ideal candidates for this procedure include those who:
. Are at or near a healthy weight
. In good overall health
. Have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone
. Have no serious illnesses or diseases
. Are not taking any medications that inhibit the healing process
. Are not on any blood-thinning medications
Are not smokers or those who can quit for a period before, during, and after the procedure.
The limiting factor for most patients in deciding whether or not they want to use their own fat as an alternative to breast implants is really two-fold:
. Whether they have enough fat to give
. Whether or not they have enough breast tissue to start with in order for the fat to have a “home” when we transfer.
In general, the best patient for fat transfer to the breast is a woman who has a fair amount of breast tissue to start with, who has a fair amount of extra fat in an unwanted area, and who, at the end of the day, wants a small augmentation. Conversely, a woman who has very little extra fat to give or who has very little breast tissue to start with is going to get a much better result from breast implants.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer
There are some clear advantages for natural breast augmentation compared to implants, these include:
. Doesn’t involve any artificial or synthetic materials
. Produces a more natural look and feel
. Eliminates complications such as implant rupture, rippling or wrinkling, and capsular contracture.
. Virtually no scarring as fat is injected into the breast via a small needle
. Removes unwanted fat from other body areas
. Breast symmetry can be more easily achieved
. You don’t have to worry about the complications from implants—implants come with the risks of rupturing, shifting, or collapsing, which can all come with serious side effects and expensive corrective procedures.
As with any procedure, there are potential downsides to this method, which include:
. There’s only so much enhancement you can get—through a fat transfer procedure, you can only enhance your breasts 1 to 1.5 cup size. So, if you’re hoping for a larger enhancement, this procedure may not be right for you.
. The fat can be reabsorbed—plastic surgeons who practice this procedure try their hardest to ensure the fat survives its transfer. However, the body does what it does and may still reabsorb the fat, essentially diminishing the enhancement.
. The breasts do not lift—unlike implants, fat does not prevent sagging that comes with aging, weight loss, pregnancy or genetics. Furthermore, implants typically provide a lifted look that fat transfer does not provide.
. It costs more—since you’re basically getting two procedures (liposuction and breast augmentation) fat transfer breast augmentation is more expensive than other breast augmentation procedures.
. The permanency of fat that is transferred varies by individual and can be anywhere from 50-80%.
. Results of implants can be more predictable
. May require multiple procedures to achieve desired results
What are the risks of fat transfer breast augmentation?
Fat transfer breast augmentation risks include:
. Necrosis (death) of fat cells
. Possibility that some of the transferred fat cells will leave the breast area.
Your plastic surgeon may also have you use a tissue expansion system during the weeks before your breast augmentation surgery to improve your results. You may have to have touch-up injections to retain your improved shape if you choose this surgery.
How much fat do you need for a Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation?
Augmenting your breasts via fat transfer requires a certain amount of fat in the donor area. The exact amount of necessary fat will vary from patient to patient depending on their cosmetic goals. For example, a woman looking to go up one cup size will require less donor fat than someone who wants to upgrade two cup sizes.
Women who have very little excess body fat will have a hard time finding an adequate donor area from which fat can be harvested. For these women, breast implants will generally provide better results. Additionally, women with adequate donor fat deposits who are looking for a much larger bust may benefit more from implants as well as fat transfer.
During Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer
The breast augmentation with fat transfer procedure is a relatively straightforward procedure. Our plastic surgeon uses his extensive experience with advanced liposuction techniques to make the fat removal process as safe and pain-free as possible. After the fat is removed, this method is less involved than traditional breast augmentations with implants as the fat is just injected into the breast, rather than needing a large incision and placing an implant over or under your muscles.
The breast augmentation with fat transfer procedure is generally performed as follows:
. First, gentle liposuction removes fat from parts of your body like your thighs, abdomen, and love handles by using fine cannulas.
. The fat is processed in a sterile environment to remove impurities and liquids.
. It’s then injected into your breasts to achieve the desired size, volume, and shape.
Breast augmentation with fat transfer is an outpatient surgery where you can usually return home the same day. The entire procedure is done while you are asleep.
After Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer
Recovery and Aftercare
Depending on your current chest measurement and breast cup size, you’ll most likely see an increase of 1 to 1.5 bra cup sizes. Since your breasts are mostly fat to begin with, adding more is usually the softest and most natural feeling way to enhance your breast size.
Post-procedure, most patients can resume moderate activity and take showers as usual. The normal recovery time is a week or less. For a few days, you may experience some bruising and swelling in the breast area but should experience very little pain. The areas that had liposuction may feel sore, and your plastic surgeon will prescribe mild pain medication to alleviate this.
Patients may have drains in the areas where liposuction were performed that are generally removed in three to five days. Compression garments must be worn on the areas where liposuction was performed and a supportive bra is worn for six weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within 5-7 days, drive when they are no longer taking narcotic pain medications, and return to full exercise by six weeks.
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Breast Augmentation with Fat Transfer Scar
The scars for natural breast augmentation with fat transfer are generally small and placed in areas of the body rendering them virtually undetectable. To minimize the scar size and burden, our doctor uses small, 3-5mm cannulas to perform the liposuction, and even smaller 1-2mm cannulas to perform the fat transfer portion of the operation. The liposuction scars are placed near the area of the body where liposuction is to be performed, and are usually able to be hidden by clothes postoperatively. The fat transfer scars are placed under the fold of the breast and occasionally around the nipple areolar complex where they are rarely ever seen.
One of the biggest advantages to using your own fat to augment your breasts is that, unlike implants, the fat does not need to be changed out in the future. Once your transferred fat cells become fully incorporated into their new environment, they never need to be removed or replaced. It will take a few months for the final result to be seen, but once the fat has “taken,” you’ll be a shapelier you for good.