Fat transfer breast augmentation

A fat transfer breast augmentation is the process of removing fat from unwanted areas (such as tummy, hips and thighs), breaking it down, mixing it with other body cells, and then injecting it into the breast to increase a cup size. It sounds like a dream procedure – remove the lumps you don’t want, to improve the bumps you do want!

The process of using fat for a breast implant has been used for about 100 years, but has, until recently, been reserved for reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy. Over the last two decades it has been increasingly used in combination with liposuction to give a whole body transformation, but is still considered a new technique.

Is it safe?

With all the scare stories about silicone breast implants rupturing and leaking, a fat transfer from your own body seems like a safe alternative. By using your own tissue, you can be fairly certain not to get an allergic reaction or rejection. Because the fat is injected, no incisions are made and therefore the scarring is minimal. The procedure is done under local anaesthetic, so you don’t have the risks associated with general anaesthetic. This treatment is still in its infancy commercially, but on the surface it would seem safe.

What is the aftercare?

As it is a 2-in-1 procedure, you will have to look after the liposuction site(s) as well as your new breasts. You will need waterproof dressings over the injection points on your boobs for up to 10 days, as well as a course of antibiotics to prevent infection. A supportive sports bra is a good idea for your newly increased chest, while the areas of liposuction require a compression garment for a few weeks. Most patients will experience discomfort for a few days, followed by a dull ache for a few weeks, along with some swelling and bruising.

What are the advantages?

What are the disadvantages?

Who can have it?

Most people would be eligible for fat transfer breast augmentation, however you do have to have some excess fat to transfer from the belly, hips or thighs, so very thin candidates might not be suitable.

What are the risks?

When the transferred fat dies, it causes calcification or cysts in the breasts: these lumps show up in mammograms and can be very difficult to differentiate from cancerous cells. There is also concern that for someone who is susceptible to breast cancer, injecting stem cells may accelerate the biological process and cause the disease. But the main concern is simply the fact that the technique is still very new – women undergoing this treatment are regarded by many professionals as guinea pigs, because there is not enough experience or precedence yet in this procedure.

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