For women who wish to have a modest breast augmentation and want to avoid using breast implants, breast fat transfer can be considered as an option. With this procedure, fat is obtained from other parts of the body like the abdomen, hips or thighs and injected to the breasts to achieve a natural breast augmentation. Breast fat transfer can also address focal areas with diminished breast volume.
Who is a candidate for breast fat transfer?
Good candidates for breast fat transfer are healthy patients who want a modest breast augmentation or who wish to correct focal areas of diminished breast volume. These patients are averse to having foreign objects like breast implants in their bodies and prefer a natural result with fat transfer. Patients also wish to avoid the scars associated with breast implant placement since fat is inserted with needles in breast fat transfer. This procedure can be performed provided that the patient has ample fat reserves in other parts of the body like the abdomen, hips, thighs or buttocks. Please note, it is important to maintain realistic expectations when proceeding with this type of surgery.
How is breast fat transfer performed?
First, fat is suctioned out from donor areas like the abdomen, hips or thighs, similar to how it’s done in liposuction. The fat is then purified and processed before it is inserted into the breast via small needles. This avoids having scars on the breasts. The fat cells are essentially free grafts of tissue. They’re injected in small aliquots, evenly distributed throughout the breast. The fat cells go through a process where the blood supply at the recipient site nourishes them and allows for “take.” Despite this process, some of the fat atrophies, leading to shrinkage later on. The procedure may have to be performed more than once to achieve the desired result. The amount of fat transferred depends on multiple factors but typically contributes to an increase in about one to two cup sizes. For patients with saggy breasts, a breast lift (mastopexy) may be performed in conjunction with the breast fat transfer.
What to expect after surgery?
Dr. Farris and his staff at Farris Plastic Surgery will provide specific instructions regarding your surgery.
You will be able to go home the same day after surgery and have a follow up appointment within one week. Postoperative pain is limited. Compression garment is usually applied to the donor site. It is advised that you avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for 3-4 weeks. An underwire bra may be used beginning at 4 weeks after surgery.