Fat Transfer to Breasts - My doctor says they can get me up 2 cup sizes. I am about 5'4 107 lbs and 22 years old.
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Fat grafts to breasts can be safe
The American Society of plastic surgeons just published a position paper on this.
Basically the experience of the surgeon in the technique matters a lot.
Do not use fat extracted by UAL. Blasting the cells with heat (Laser or ultrasound) is not a good idea.
I am doing another study with Breast reconstruction after lumpectomy, and I have reviewed the literature on the subject. Your main task is to find a surgeon who is well versed in the technique.
Fat transfer works but not after ultrasound-assisted liposuction
I been doing fat grafting for more than 11 years and fat grafting to the breast for 3 years. It works, but:
1) You cannot increase the breast size more than a cup size
2) You do not have a lot of fat, UAL is ultrasoinc harvesting and will kill all the fat cells
3) I am concerned that your doctor does not have enough experince, otherwise he would not suggest UAL
4) Make sure to ask for referral from previous patients, and also ask for mammogram of the previous patients
5) I have an on-going study with NIH. You can check it under clinicaltrials.gov and search under fat injection.
Fat injection to the breasts
Here's the rub.
Fat injection consists of mainly dead cells, with a disputed amount of living cells. Our research showed 20-25% alive, other studies have shown as low as 3% if you look at the ability of the cells to "breathe" (metabolize).
Those dead cells, when injected into the breasts, either are dissolved away by the body's white blood cells, or form chronic inflammatory reactions and are walled off (granulomatous reactions) or form fatty cysts. Lumpiness can also occur with the above problems as well.
It is the walling off process that causes the most worry. Calcium formation is common in granulomatous reactions. Calcium is what clues off mammographers to the presence of cancer. So will there be false positive mammograms for cancer in patients who have this technique? We'll have to wait and see.
In five years' time, we will have our answers. Until then, patients receiving this technique will take a certain risk. We won't be using this technique in our practice until more data are available.
UAL, by the way, (and also the laser) melts and destroys fat cells with ultrasound waves (or laser heat). This technique would guarantee only dead cells are introduced.
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Breast Augmentation Using Your Own Fat
Breast Augmentation using your own fat a potentially great procedure. You get liposuction of the fat in the unwanted areas and also get a breast augmentation using your own fat, a 100% natural substance. Once fully healed these breasts are indistinguishable from 'normal' non-augmented breasts.
HOWEVER, patients always overestimate the amount of fat that they have for the use of breast augmentation. If you are 5'4" and 107lb, you will barely have enough fat for a half cup increase. There is just no way I can imagine that you will gain two cup sizes. I think you should seek a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon who has experience with fat grafting.
When you go back to visit your surgeon again, ask him/her about his/her board certification. You also want to see before and after pictures of other patients that had a two cup size increase. And you want to make sure the after pictures were taken at least 3 months after the surgery. If the doctor is reputable, he will certainly have at least one happy patient that is willing to talk to others potential patients about her experiences.
Martin Jugenburg, MD
Consider your options very carefully
The previous answer is accurate, but you need to know that at this time in the U.S. the option for fat grafting to the breast is specifically banned by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, so no board-certified plastic surgeon would do it for augmentation unless it is part of an approved clinical trial.
Also, the use of VASER here doesn't make sense to me; I do use it frequently but the ultrasound actually destroys the fat cells so it would not be suitable for grafting. We do hope to have the option of using fat in the breast in the not too distant future but for now caution is advised.
Fat for Breast Augmentation
Ultrasonic liposuction for fat transfer is not good
For fat transfer to work, the cells harvested must be injected alive. Ultrasonic liposuction kills the fat cells. The injection will then only last for a brief time.
Also, for someone who is 5ft4inches and 107 lbs, it highly likely that you do not have enough fat to make a significant difference. Herein lies the dilemma for Fat Transfer for Breast augmentation, most small breasted woman do not have enough fat to make a difference.
Typically, 200 cc of fat is one cup size improvement.
Breast lipoaugmrntation or fat transfer to breasts
I do perform this procedure for selected patients. It is not suitable for everyone and is usually twice more expensive. However you can simply not use dead cells after UAL or laser lipo. The cells are damaged after such procedures reducing their survival. Also, you can not go up more than one cup size at a time at best. Thus you will need two procedures at least.
Fat Grafting for Breasts is an Emerging Practice
Barbiebionda16, First of all, fat grafting for breasts is an emerging practice. Very nice results are possible with the newer micro-fat injection techniques. However, it is important that you see someone with extensive experience with fat grafting, but cause you can also end up with poor results.
Also, there is currently controversy about the effect of fat grafting on mammograms and other breast imaging techniques, so it is very important that you have baseline imaging studies done before the procedure.
Finally, you say they are using the UAL technique. This would be unusual since the ultrasound-assisted-liposuction would be traumatic to the fat cells. So, I would question the viability of the cells for transfer. Good luck with your surgery.
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