Fat transfer breast augmentation is a viable alternative for women who desire larger breasts without the use of implants. Fat transfer is also widely used in reconstruction of the breast after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. It can also be very effective in correcting the size and shape of the breasts due to genetic problems such as tuberous breast or Poland Syndrome, two conditions that present as misshapen or underdeveloped breasts. Our Beverly Hills plastic surgeons are skilled in performing this procedure for patients desiring fuller breasts using their own, natural fat cells.
Fat transfers have a long history in medicine and have been performed for over a century. For years, doctors have been using patients' own fat to restore areas of the body affected by illness or injury, or to improve the appearance of certain trouble spots that deflate with age. We also offer fat grafting for aging hands and to correct volume loss in the face. Successful fat grafting, however, is very technique dependent. There is a specific way that the fat must be harvested, processed, and transferred to the new area as it is moving living cells to a new area.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeons Dr. Lisa Cassileth and Dr. Kelly Killeen understand the difficulties faced by women undergoing breast cancer treatment extremely well. Each year, they perform hundreds of breast reconstruction surgeries, many involving fat grafting procedures.
When a patient desires breast augmentation with fat grafting, with the patient’s input one of our Beverly Hills plastic surgeons chooses a donor site, usually tummy, thighs, or flanks (love handles), the fat is then removed from the area with a special liposuction technique that prevents the living fat cells from being destroyed. The suctioned fluid is processed into pure fat, which can be selected to create higher enriched stem cell concentrations. Stem cells have unique rejuvenating features that can enhance both healing and the results.
The doctor then skillfully and meticulously injects hundreds of tiny individual fat droplets into the breast site using an instrument called a cannula. This technique prevents bleeding from the small vessels in and around the tissue, therefore thereby preventing death of the transferred fat cells (fat necrosis). The fat is then incorporated within the existing matrix of adipose (fat) tissue and the breasts enlarge 'naturally'.
Fat grafting is used in two ways for breast reconstruction:
Most patients can expect to retain anywhere from 50-80% of the fat transferred. The fat that does successfully take is permanent. There are no incisions made to the breast. Instead, small ports are made with a needle and heal with little to no scar. Patients also benefit by gaining a trimmer, slimmer area of the body from where the fat was harvested. There are two small incisions needed at the fat donor site to harvest the fat, but they are well-hidden and not usually longer then 3mm.
You are likely a candidate for a fat transfer breast augmentation if you have a medical condition that has affected the size or shape of your breasts or if you are simply dissatisfied with your breasts and would like to create a fuller, more shapely chest. The best candidate for a fat transfer breast augmentation is a person with overall good health and realistic expectations about the results that can be achieved with this procedure. An increase of one cup size is generally attained with one session of fat grafting. For patients that would like larger breasts, more than one fat transfer to breast surgery may be necessary.
After your surgery you can expect mild to moderate swelling and bruising of both the breasts and the area from which the fat was harvested. There is usually very little discomfort of the breast after fat grafting and mild to moderate discomfort to the fat harvest site from the liposuction. You will be provided with the proper compression garment to minimize swelling of the fat harvest area.
Because the fat transferred to the breast consists of live cells, you will want to avoid any compression of the breasts for at least 2 weeks to allow the new cells to become integrated into the existing tissue. For this reason, we do not place you in a post-operative bra. You will want to avoid sleeping on your stomach or any other activity that would put direct pressure on your breasts. Most patients find they can return to work in 3-5 days for more sedentary jobs and a week for work that requires more movement.
To find out precisely what fat grafting options are available to you, and how best to achieve the look that you want, call Cassileth Plastic Surgery at 310.278.8200 to make an appointment for a breast augmentation consultation with one of the best plastic surgeons Beverly Hills has to offer, or click here to schedule online.