Take fat from where you don’t want it and move it to where you do – sounds ideal! But does fat transfer breast augmentation work? According to Dr. Grewal of Rockstar Beauty, the answer is yes, but with a host of surprising caveats.
How Does Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Work?
In the most simplistic terms, a fat transfer is accomplished by liposuctioning fat from a donor site and then injecting it into the desired area of the body – not just the breasts. Fat transfers are used in the Brazilian butt lift and have also been used to restore volume to the face and even the hands.
The collected fat naturally contains stem cells which are preserved through the use of very fine, needle-like harvesting cannulas. Between the liposuctioning and the injection, the fat is cleaned and filtered in a sterile closed system. This method improves the chances of fat cell survival and prevents contamination prior to reinjection.
The Pros and Cons of Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
“If we’re using fat instead of an implant,” says Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Grewal, “then we might see that fat reabsorbed by the body.”
According to Dr. Grewal, this is one of the biggest cons with all fat transfer procedures: fat absorption. Unlike the breast implant whose size is fixed, a fat transfer augmentation cannot guarantee a specific size outcome.
“If a woman wanted 350cc silicone implants, she would see an increase in her bust size equivalent to 350cc. But, if a woman opted to have 350cc of fat transfer to her breasts, she might only see a 300cc increase in bust size,” explains Dr. Grewal. “But there are plenty of positives to fat transfer. And with the good there’s also the not so good.”
• Improves self-esteem – taking fat from hips and thighs and redistributing it to breasts, where more volume and curves can increase self-confidence and feelings of femininity.
• It’s all natural – the idea of implant-free enhancement appeals to many.
• Reduces risk – anytime a foreign substance is placed in the body there can be complications.
• Natural feel – breasts are mostly made up of fat, so it’s no surprise they should feel natural.
• Outcomes can be hard to determine – the volume injected is not always equal to the final, stable size.
• May require multiple treatments – because of unanticipated fat absorption, the treatment may need to be repeated to create the desired outcome.
• Fat transfer comes with its own risks – consult with your surgeon for a clear picture of the risks.
• Unclear effect on breast cancer screening mammography – instead of absorbing or successfully transferring, some fat may calcify in hard lumps that may result in the development of cysts, calcifications, and tissue scarring.
“Fat transfer to create a breast is effective, but still a relatively new technique. Educating patients on the risks and benefits is equally important as surgeons continue to collect information on the long-term safety and efficacy of this procedure,” says Dr. Grewal.
Natural Plus Breast Augmentation: The Best of Both Worlds
When Dr. Grewal opened his practice in Beverly Hills, he wanted to create an augmentation procedure that would meet the demands of Californian women: a specific and stable increase in bust size that appears natural. Dr. Grewal’s NaturalPlus Breast Augmentation℠ delivers stable volume and that natural aesthetic.
“The breast implant is used as the foundation to build a more youthful, natural breast. I then use fat to smooth transitions between the implant and the body, narrow a wide cleavage, fill depleted upper pole volume, and thicken the natural skin envelope. All these effects create an extremely natural, full augmentation your friends will envy!” says Dr. Grewal.
“Try” It Before You Buy It
Whether you are interested in breast enhancement through fat transfer or an implant, consult with a plastic surgeon that uses a Vectra XT 3D imaging system. The Vectra XT takes a 3D image of your chest, then uses special simulation software to show you the possible results of your breast enhancement. You’ll be able to quickly see and compare the difference between sizes and shapes of implants.
“It’s like seeing your after photos before having surgery!” says Dr. Grewal.