Breast Fat Transfer
The female figure is distinct from its male counterpart in many obvious ways, one of which is the voluminous curves of the breasts. A presence or lack of breast tissue that contributes to a feminine body contour can have a significant impact on one’s body image.
For women looking to obtain the full breasts they’ve always longed for, the obvious solution is breast augmentation with implants. Although the very popular surgery has many advantages when it comes to achieving that goal, some find the thought of inserting a saline or silicone material in the breasts unappealing. This may not be feasible for other reasons. A more natural way to increase the size of the breasts is using fat grafting, also called breast fat transfer. The procedure uses the patient’s own fat to accomplish the preferred body aesthetic.
Fat grafting to the breasts provides enhancement up to one cup size. It can also be performed to alter the shape of the breasts, including those that are asymmetric. Women who do have implants have also used fat grafting with excellent results to correct implant rippling and in breast surgery revisions.
How Does Breast Fat Transfer Work?
Fat grafting to the breasts involves two stages. During the first stage, liposuction is performed to harvest fat from the abdomen, flanks, or thighs. The fat is then processed and prepared to be transferred to the breasts.
The procedure is performed by Dr. Kessler in an accredited operating room facility. General anesthesia is administered to the patient, who will remain asleep as the fat is harvested and injected into the breast tissue. The length of the surgery can range from 2 to 4 hours.
A 0.5 cm incision is made in the donor site, through which the cannula will be inserted for the tumescent liposuction portion of the procedure.
The tumescent fluid provided to the area during the dislodgment of the fat acts as both a local anesthetic and serves the purpose of making the process of removing the fat cells easier and less risky to the surrounding tissue.
Once suctioned out, the fat is cleaned and any blood is flushed out. Incisions are not made in the breast; rather, the fat is injected with a needle. This is also called micro fat grafting.
The results of a breast fat transfer are generally permanent, though some amount of fat may be reabsorbed by the body. A garment will need to be worn post op to act as support for four weeks. Stitches made for the incision placed in the abdomen, flanks, or thighs are removed at around 5 days.
It will take about one week before the patient is ready to return to work. If their job is strenuous, it may take longer. Vigorous activity should be avoided for two to four weeks. The surgeon will clarify which exercises and activities are acceptable.
There are no visible scars left behind following breast fat transfer. The incision made during liposuction is very minute and scarring does not result anywhere in the breast. If necessary, after some of the fat has been absorbed by the body, touch-ups are easily performed.
If the patient decides she would prefer to have an implant placed after all, the fat transfer will not interfere with that procedure.
Since fat grafting to the breasts actually involves two procedures, there are complications that can arise in both areas of the body. Rare but possible risks include bleeding, infection, and irregularities in the contours of the breast or liposuctioned area. If complications do occur, there may be a need for additional procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Fat Grafting
What is a Breast Fat Transfer?
Fat Transfer, or Fat Grafting, is a minimally invasive procedure designed to improve the volume and shape of the breasts through the use of a woman’s own tissue. Women may choose the Fat Transfer procedure for an improvement in the size, shape, or contour of their breasts.
How is a Fat Transfer procedure performed on the breast?
Unwanted fatty tissue will be removed from the donor area through Liposuction; normally the thighs, stomach, or lower back. Once extracted, the fat will undergo a cleaning and purifying process. Finally, Dr. Kessler will inject the fat with a thin needle, sculpting the breasts to a pleasant shape and contour.
How much increase can be expected in breast size after a Fat Transfer?
Dr. Kessler will bring the breast up by one cup size during a Breast Fat Transfer. Should a larger increase be desired, an additional Fat Transfer procedure may be required.
Can I have a Breast Fat Transfer if I have implants?
Yes, a Breast Fat Transfer can be very successful for women with breast implants. This procedure is often used by women experiencing noticeable rippling or wrinkling of their current breast implants.
Who is a good candidate for a Breast Fat Transfer?
Women in good health, with some amount of excess fatty tissue, and frustrated with the size or shape of their chest can make an excellent candidate for the Breast Fat Transfer procedure.
Where is the Breast Fat Transfer procedure performed?
Dr. Kessler performs all Fat Transfer procedures at the accredited Star Point Surgery Center.
What type of anesthesia is used during a Breast Fat Transfer?
A Fat Transfer for the Breast will be performed under general anesthesia.
How long does a Breast Fat Transfer procedure take?
The Fat Transfer procedure may take between three and five hours to complete, as the removal and processing of live tissue must be performed slowly.
What can I expect during the recovery from a Fat Transfer procedure?
Only minor discomfort will be felt after a Breast Fat Transfer, most often in the donor area. Dr. Kessler will provide appropriate pain medications to keep patients healing comfortably at home. Stitches will be placed over the donor incision and removed after five days. A support garment will need to be worn for four weeks, to promote appropriate healing.
When can I return to work after a Breast Fat Transfer?
Patients generally feel well enough to return to work about five to seven days after their Breast Fat Transfer (longer if their job is strenuous or involves heavy lifting). Vigorous exercise and activities should be postponed for at least two to four weeks.
Will there be scarring after a Breast Fat Transfer?
No scarring will occur on the breasts after a Breast Fat Transfer. A very small scar my occur after the Liposuction procedure, but this will be well hidden in the natural curvature of the body.
What are the risks involved with a Breast Fat Transfer?
Fat Transfers are considered extremely safe, since the patient’s own body tissue is used. Complications are rare, but can include a reaction to the anesthesia, scarring, excess bleeding, infection, numbness, and breast asymmetry, fatty cysts of the breast and need for multiple fat transfers to achieve your desired results.
How long will the results of a Breast Fat Transfer last?
The benefits from a Breast Fat Transfer are long lasting. While the results are permanent, the breast will continue to experience normal changes during the aging process.
Can I finance my Breast Fat Transfer procedure?
Kessler Plastic Surgery provides patients with the opportunity to finance their Fat Transfer procedures through CareCredit. Applications can be submitted online, and the approval will be immediate. Our office will also accept cash and all major credit cards, as well.