Fat grafting to the breasts

Fat grafting to the breasts

Increasing interest is being shown in fat grafting to the breasts.

Fat grafting to the breasts is popular among plastic surgeons to improve breast shape and is often used both in breast reconstruction after lumpectomy or to enhance the result obtained from cosmetic breast augmentation with breast implants.

Fat grafting to the breasts involves harvesting fat from elsewhere in the body like the thighs and stomach by means of a modified form of liposuction. The extracted fat is then processed and injected into the space between the skin and the breast glands.

Interest in this procedure has been enhanced due to concerns about certain types of breast implants. The Australian TGA or Therapeutic Goods Administration, recently suspended sales of eight types of breast implants, particularly those with heavy texturing or polyurethane coating. This is due to the concern about a rare condition called implant-associated lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

In the vast majority of cases, it would be unrealistic to think of fat grafting as a predictable and effective replacement for breast prostheses. Fat grafting is likely to be effective where only a minor increase in breast size of half to perhaps one cup size is desired.

For fat grafting to be successful, the patient also needs to have sufficient stores of fat elsewhere in the body so that adequate tissue can be harvested without creating contour deformities at the donor site.

On the Gold Coast, the average implant size is approaching 400 cc’s. Successfully augmenting a breast to this degree with fat grafting is highly unlikely to be successful even if multiple operations are performed.

It is, therefore, important to be realistic about what fat grafting can achieve.

Most commonly, it is used around the periphery of breast prostheses to enhance the breast shape. It can help to enhance the upper pole of the breast where the breasts sit a little low and inadequate shape is achieved there with an implant alone. It can also help to “creep” the cleavage in from both sides to enhance this area.

Where the breast has an unfavorable shape, fat grafting can be used to improve this and better “hide” the breast implant. This is particularly the case with the tuberous breast deformity.

For most patients who are seeking a significant increase in breast size, breast implants will still be required. Naturally enough, plastic surgeons have moved towards the safer types of breast implants that have not been associated with the above condition. These generally have a smooth wall.

To find out if fat grafting can work for you or if it can enhance the result of planned or previous breast augmentation, you need an in-person consultation with a plastic surgeon that performs this procedure.

Dr Scamp is well versed in the area of fat grafting and can answer any of your questions at his Gold Coast clinic, get in touch here.

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