Frequently Asked Questions
How can my own fat be used to increase the size of my breasts?
Transplanting fat has been used for decades to improve volume and contour in different areas of the body. In fact, the first attempt at breast augmentation was to transplant a benign fatty tumor from a woman’s leg to her breast. The transplanted fat acts just like normal fat in the grafted area. This works well in the breasts (as well as other areas in the body) because a certain percentage of breast tissue is fatty in nature.
Because fat cells are genetically unique, the fat that is transplanted must come from your own body (unless you have an identical twin).
Why use fat for breast augmentation?
Because an augmentation with fat grafting involves your own tissue, there are no “foreign” materials left in your body. In addition, smaller incisions may be used which will result in smaller scars. Also, fat grafting may be used in a more customized fashion whereas most implants come in a predetermined shape. This is helpful for women with significant shape differences.
How long does fat grafting last?
Fat grafting appears to be permanent; that is, what fat survives the transplantation process lasts a lifetime. Only the fat that is in contact with blood supply will last: therefore, the smaller amount of fat that is injected at a time, the higher percentage that survives. This is why fat grafting procedures often require more than one round in order to create the desired results.
Also, the injected fat appears to increase and decrease in size with weight gain and weight loss just like “normal” fat. This may be important if significant weight loss occurs as some breast deflation may be noticeable.
Is every woman a candidate for this procedure?
Breast augmentation requires a large volume of fat to be successful. This means that a woman must have enough of her own fat that can be removed and transplanted to her breasts not only once, but often multiple times. Therefore, patients with a low body mass index (BMI) are not good candidates for the operation.
What is the process of breast augmentation using fat injection?
This procedure involves liposuction through small access incisions in order to obtain your own fat for injection. This is often performed in the abdomen, flanks, or thighs. Specialized equipment is used to efficiently purify this fat, removing non-fat cell components. Very small incisions are used at multiple, hidden points around your breasts in order to inject the fat in small amounts in different directions and layers within your breast. All of the harvested fat is injected using this technique, and the access incisions are closed using dissolvable stitches. Compression garments are used to decrease swelling and bruising in the areas where the fat was harvested.
Is a breast augmentation with fat grafting the same cost as implants?
Since the process of removing fat is more time-consuming than placing an implant, and since there is some special equipment involved, the operation is more expensive than undergoing breast augmentation using an implant. This is especially true if multiple rounds of fat grafting are required (which is normally the case).