The procedure of transferring fat to the breasts to augment size and shape is known by a number of different names; it is also called a natural breast augmentation, fat transfer breast augmentation, lipofilling or lipomodelling.
It has been performed for many years as an alternative to enhancing the breasts with breast implants and is becoming increasingly popular as more and more women desire a more subtle, natural augmentation without the potential complications caused by inserting a ‘foreign body’ into the breast.
Breast augmentation with fat transfer can also restore volume and shape to the breasts that have been lost as part of the ageing process, weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding. It reduces some of the risks associated with a breast implant augmentation and patients can expect long-lasting results.
FAQs for Fat Transfer to the Breasts
Fat is carefully harvested from one area of the body, typically the waist, stomach or thighs, and transferred to the breasts to increase volume or enhance shape.
During your consultation with Mr Mark Ho-Asjoe, he will assess your suitability for the fat transfer breast augmentation procedure. Ideally, a patient is near their ideal body weight; but has some excess fat tissue available for harvesting. It is important that the patient is not planning to lose a great deal of weight in the future as that will affect their long-term results.
Patient expectations will also be assessed as fat transfer breast augmentation produces a much more subtle enhancement so is not suitable for those patients that want to increase their cup size significantly. Fat transfer to the breasts is also a fantastic procedure for correcting asymmetrical breasts.
There are many reasons why you may consider a fat transfer to the breasts as an alternative to breast implants. In recent years, there have been some concerns over breast implants although this is continually being assessed by the UK government health regulatory agency, the MHRA, and their current advice is that they are still considered a safe device.
One of the issues with breast implants, though, is that it is a foreign object and the body reacts by encapsulating the breast in tissue and this can result in the breast implant becoming hard or misshapen, a complication known as capsular contracture. The body will not react in the same way to autologous fat being transferred from another part of the body to the breast.
Breast implants are also not considered a lifetime device and you may require further surgery in the future to replace or remove your implants. Fat that has been transferred successfully to the breasts should remain there permanently. You will also see better definition in the areas where the fat has been removed.
Typically, fat transfer to the breasts is a less invasive procedure than a breast augmentation with implants and requires less recovery. Scars are minimal, both in the area where the fat is taken and also the breasts.
First, Mr Ho-Asjoe will remove fat from the donor area by liposuctioning the fat tissue. It is then processed to remove any impurities and then carefully injected into the breasts to restore volume. Some of the transplanted fat tissue will fail to graft, which means it will just be naturally reabsorbed by the body, so usually the breasts will be ‘overfilled’.
Over the next few months, your final results will emerge, and you should go up a half a cup size to one full cup size. It’s perfectly safe to undergo a repeat procedure and many women have more than one session to achieve the results they desire.
There will be some bruising and soreness in the area of the body where the fat was taken, but this will subside over the next week or two. Recovery is generally quicker after fat transfer to the breasts than if implants are used.
This is a relatively new approach, where breast implants are combined with fat transfer. There are a number of reasons why a hybrid breast augmentation might be the appropriate choice. It allows the plastic surgeon to sculpt the breasts that isn’t always possible with breast implants alone. A round implant can be used and then fat transfer used to produce a more natural shape and increased volume in the upper part of the breast.
Furthermore, breast implants can feel very heavy and impact on skin elasticity over time. If a patient wants a larger augmentation, then combining fat transfer with a smaller implant will mean less trauma to the breasts while achieving the same increase in size.
Many women who are contemplating a breast implant replacement, may also decide to have a hybrid breast augmentation. It means their breast implants can be exchanged for a smaller, lighter implant but any discrepancy in size can be addressed with fat transfer. Alternatively, you may not wish to have your breast implants exchanged but instead removed altogether and a breast uplift and fat transfer combination procedure may be performed.