Many of our patients often ask whether a breast augmentation is possible without the use of breast implants. Many women who have been living with underdeveloped breasts have long desired to have larger breasts. Although the results of breast augmentation continue to give consistently good results for women, meaning women are against the idea of having artificial substances placed inside the body. Fat transfer breast augmentation uses your body’s own flat and it’s completely natural as it comes from your own body. Breast augmentation with fat transfer is hence also known as a natural breast augmentation.
Fat transfer surgical techniques have undergone significant evolution over the last decade. Being able to use your own body fat for breast augmentation has now become a reality for many women not keen on the idea of breast implants. As with any surgical procedure, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to bear in mind and will depend on your goals for treatment as fat transfer may not be for everyone.
Let’s go into some detail on how that transfer actually works followed by the advantages and disadvantages of breast fat transfer.
What does fat transfer involve?
Centre for Surgery in London is already well known for its expertise with the Brazilian butt lift procedure which involves fat transfer to the buttocks. The same principle is involved with fat transfer to the breasts. The first step always involves liposuction of excess fat from a particular area of the body followed by injection of the purified fat into the breasts.
The liposuction part of the procedure is carried out using the safe liposuction technique which does not involve any thermal energy, unlike ultrasound-assisted or laser-assisted liposuction. Liposuction permits the removal of unwanted fat from a number of areas including the abdomen, waist or thighs. Often the surgeon will carry out circumferential liposuction also known as 360 liposuction. To preserve the delicate fat cells, the fat must be carefully filtered and purified before it can be re-injected into the breasts.
The fat transfer part of the procedure involves a great deal of skill on the part of the surgeon. The surgeon takes great care to inject the harvested fat into the targeted areas of the breast to ensure accurate placement. This helps to maximise fat cell survival whilst simultaneously resulting in breasts that look both natural and larger with an enhanced shape. Compared with breast implant surgery, fat transfer to the breasts can achieve more natural-looking results with less visible scarring. The breast fat transfer procedure can be viewed as a two in one procedure. Patients are able to achieve a more controlled and sculpted appearance around their torso whilst getting the benefits of enhanced breast volume and a better shape.
Advantages and disadvantages of fat transfer breast augmentation
Fat transfer to the breasts is a highly effective procedure for enhancing the size and shape of the breasts and it is important to be aware of the limitations of the procedure as well as what the procedure can achieve for you.
Advantages of fat transfer
- Fat transfer makes use of your own body’s fat hence the term autologous fat transfer. It is thought that the risks of fat transfer breast augmentation are less compared with breast augmentation with implants.
- The incisions are much smaller compared with implant-based augmentation. Incisions are often no longer than 3 to 4 mm in length. Many patients often struggle to notice their scars three months after their procedure
- Patients get the benefit of having fat removed from unwanted areas of the body for a more sculpted silhouette
- The recovery after fat transfer rest augmentation is often much faster compared with breast implants although there may well be a significant degree of bruising and swelling which although it may look impressive should only result in mild to moderate pain and discomfort at most
- Many patients are simply not keen on the idea of artificial silicone breast implants and are often very interested in the idea of breast augmentation with that transfer which is also known by its other name, “natural breast augmentation”
Disadvantages are fat transfer
- As with all types of that transfer procedures, there is a maximum upper limit on the amount of fat that can be injected. With the fat transfer to the breasts procedure, there is, therefore, a maximum breast volume that can be achieved in one procedure and there needs to be sufficient fat elsewhere on the body to permit the proper amount of liposuction. For excessively slim patients, fat transfer to the breast may not be a suitable option
- The extra step involving liposuction often means the procedure takes longer compared with breast augmentation with implants and the extra time needed to process the fact. The cost of the fat transfer procedure is, therefore, higher compared with breast augmentation with implants
- There is an element of unpredictability with fat transfer procedures with about 20 to 30% of fat undergoing natural reabsorption by the body
- In cases where fat survival has been patchy, there is the risk of the development of asymmetry or contour abnormalities although this is often not an issue due to the small amounts of fat involved
- Patients who have droopy or sagging breasts will not be able to have this adequately corrected with a fat transfer on its own. A breast lift procedure can be successfully combined with breast fat transfer for correction of both size and shape
Is fat transfer breast augmentation right for you?
Patients who are looking to take advantage of the dual benefits of breast fat transfer with both liposuction and natural breast enlargement could find that this procedure is ideal for them. Patients who prefer more than a subtle enlargement may be better served with breast augmentation with implants. In some cases, patients are also keen to enhance the appearance of the cleavage, in this case combining both breast augmentation with implants and fat transfer breast augmentation can address both the size and shape of the breasts and the cleavage area between the breasts. Combining both procedures is also known as hybrid breast augmentation and is ideal for patients who are very slim and may have fewer fat reserves to allow a larger volume of fat transfer.
It’s important not to adopt a “cookie-cutter” approach to enhancing the size and shape of the breasts which is why we recommend all patients to come in and see one of our expert plastic surgeons who will be able to advise you on the most appropriate treatment option after having assessed you in full. To learn more, speak to one of our patient coordinators today who will be able to give you further information on what the procedure involves as well as book you in to see a surgeon skilled in breast fat transfer.