Fat transfer or grafting to the breast is one of the more exciting current techniques in breast surgery. Fat grafting involves obtaining or harvesting fat cells from one part of the body (typically abdomen or thighs) by liposuction, and then the fat is injected into the breast tissue. The fat will then be able to provide bulk for breast enlargement, like augmentation with fat! A natural breast shape can also be created depending on the amount of fat transferred.
Not only can fat transfer be used in primary breast augmentation, it can also be used in implant revision surgery, for instance, to help mask or camouflage an existing implant. Depending on the volume of fat moved, implant rippling and breast feel can improve. The procedure can be repeated as many times as necessary as long as there are adequate donor sites.
Better still, the recovery for 'autologous fat grafting' is fairly straight-forward, and is essentially the same as cosmetic liposuction. Many patients see fat transfer breast augmentation as two surgeries in one: improving the look and feel of their breasts while also contouring their bellies or thighs! Dr. Albright notes very high patient satisfaction when combining fat grafting with other cosmetic procedures.
Fat grafting is an excellent stand-alone or adjunct procedure for cosmetic breast surgery, such as breast augmentation, breast implant adjustment, and breast lifts. With fat grafting, we are using your own tissue to provide breast volume and increase cup size. For breast lifts, the grafted fat can provide more volume to the top of the breast and help with overall breast shape/contour. The fat when strategically placed can help improve implant step offs and visible implant rippling.
Breast reconstruction patients also benefit from fat grafting. By increasing the soft tissue coverage in the reconstructed breast, fat grafting helps create a more natural feeling and looking breast. It can be used to help achieve better symmetry when trying to match your other nonreconstructed ‘native’ breast. Furthermore, many surgeons believe fat grafting can also improve the quality of the breast skin after radiation treatment, although this is still being studied.