Hybrid has become one of the buzzwords in the fields of tech and industry and is now dominating the aesthetics market with the introduction of the hybrid breast augmentation. The female desire to enhance the size and shape of their breasts hasn’t disappeared but concerns over breast implants and the impetus to produce the optimal, aesthetic result for their patients has led plastic surgeons to innovate a new ‘dual concept’ breast augmentation procedure.
What’s changed in the world of breast surgery
In recent years, there have been growing concerns over the safety of breast implants. A link to a very rare type of lymphoma has been identified and there has been increasing anecdotal evidence of an auto-immune type illness known as Breast Implant Illness. Both of these conditions have been evaluated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) that regulates medical devices in the UK and their current advice is that these implants are deemed safe for continued use, as long as patients are informed of all potential risks.
Aesthetic trends have also evolved and requests for very large implants have given way to a demand for a more subtle, natural enhancement. Many reality stars have famously documented their regret at having too-large implants which has led them to exchange them for smaller ones.
Enter the hybrid breast augmentation. This procedure combines breast implants with fat transfer to the breasts and it is becoming increasingly popular with women and surgeons alike. Fat transfer to the breasts has been used for many years as an alternative to breast implants; it involves harvesting fat from another area of the body where there is an excess such as the waist, buttocks or thighs. The fat is then processed to remove any impurities and then injected into the breasts to restore volume or shape the breasts.
Fat transfer to the breasts has some advantages when compared to breast implant surgery. The area where the fat is removed is left more defined and the body also doesn’t respond to the grafted fat in the same way as it does a breast implant. A relatively common complication after breast implant surgery is capsular contracture which is when the body forms a layer of scar tissue around the implant that can tighten and harden.
The fat that successfully grafts in the breast should also remain there permanently and you will not require further surgery as you may with breast implants.
There are some drawbacks though, as Karidis Clinic plastic surgeon Mr Mark Ho-Asjoe explains. “Fat transfer is not suitable for someone who wants an immediate increase of a number of cup sizes; it is more of a gradual process and you may require a couple of sessions to achieve the fullness you want. With each procedure, you should be able to go up a half to one full cup size.”
What are the benefits of the hybrid breast augmentation?
One of the benefits of the hybrid breast augmentation is that it allows the plastic surgeon to sculpt the breast shape in a way that they can’t necessarily do with implants alone. A round implant can be combined with fat transfer to produce a more natural shape and increased volume in the upper pole. Fat transfer can be used to fine-tune the shape and position of the implants, address any asymmetries between the breasts or soften the overall appearance.
Mr Ho-Asjoe explains that another benefit of a hybrid breast augmentation is that it can minimise the trauma to the breast skin that is caused by implants. “Breast implants are heavy and they stretch the skin; the larger the implant, the more trauma they do the body. By using a smaller implant and then augmenting it with a fat transfer, you are achieving the same effect while doing less damage.
“It’s also great for breast implant replacement procedures. Breast implants are not a lifetime procedure and you may have to undergo repeat procedures at any time. However, many women that underwent a breast augmentation in their 20s, may want something different when they return in their 30s or 40s.
“With a hybrid breast augmentation, you have a smaller, lighter implant and the rest is augmented with your fat. Next time, you may go even smaller and have more fat transferred. Or at that point, many women wish to have their implants removed altogether and we may perform a breast lift combined with fat transfer.”
Just as with our cars, the hybrid breast augmentation might be the future of cosmetic breast surgery. Choosing a highly experienced plastic surgeon that specialises in fat grafting and breast reconstruction is a must though to ensure optimal results. To find out if you’re suitable, call us on 020 3811 5982 to arrange a consultation.