What Types of Breast Implants Use Body Fat, Instead of Silicone?

Is it true that this type of surgery is safer for people with allergies to synthetic materials?

Doctor Answers (11)

No implants use fat filler. Allergy to silicone is extremely rare.

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As others have answered, implants presently are filled with saline or silicone gel. The latest generation of silicone gel implants contain a cohesive silicone gel that is more highly crosslinked than older implants. These do not leak, rarely rupture, and "stick together" should the implant shell ever be breached in any way. Numerous scientific studies have confirmed the absence of cause-and-effect relationship between silicone breast implants and any sort of autoimmune disease or disorder.

True allergy to silicone is extremely rare. It is virtually certain you already have silicone in your body, since you probably have had immunizations, tetanus booster shots, injections of other medications, and perhaps an intravenous line during your life. Each of these needles is lubricated with liquid silicone, so you have had tiny amounts of silicone injected directly into your body. Worrying about a possible allergy to something you already have been exposed to is unnecessary.

Fat inside an implant would quickly end up being DEAD fat, and the breakdown products of several hundred ccs of rancid, warm fat would not be a good thing. Soybean oil-filled implants (Trilucent implants) were taken off the market because of problems associated with the breakdown of the oil inside the implants, and the eventual migration through the shell into the patient's body. So what might sound like a good idea is NOT!

Fat grafting is controversial because not all of the injected or grafted fat cells survive, and calcifications that mimic breast cancer can confuse mammography experts. So-called "stem cell" breast augmentation is mostly marketing hype, in some cases by unscrupulous doctors seeking only to gain higher fees. Even when it is done carefully, you can end up with lumps, bumps, and hard irregularities that make breast examination difficult.

If you want breast augmentation, choose breast implants made by one of the two US manufacturers, and choose an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon. Saline or silicone are the two appropriate filler materials; each has pros and cons. For more information, click on the link below. Best wishes!


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Using a person's own fat to enlarge the breasts is an intriguing new approach

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to breast augmentation, but the technique has not yet gained wide acceptance in the plastic surgery community.  Implants in the United States are filled with saline (by the surgeon at the time of the breast augmentation) or filled with silicone gel by the manufacturer.  There are no implants that are filled with body fat.  Microfat injections using a careful technique to preserve the fat that is harvested from a patient, and then injecting that fat into another area of the body is a commonly accepted technique.  It has been used to fill hollow areas in the face, under scars, and in the breasts following mastectomy and reconstruction to supplement an implant or flap.  The use of fat to primarily augment the breast in place of an implant for cosmetic augmentation has its proponenets, and may prove to be an effective methodology in the coming years.  Be sure to seek the guidance of an experienced breast surgeon who is knowledgeable about this technique before proceeding...

Michael H. Rosenberg, MD
White Plains Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Implants with body fat

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There are no breast implants filled with body fat.  Fat transfer may used in certain cases around an implant to help comouflage rippling of the implants or to fill in a defect around the implant.  There are also some surgeons augmenting small breasts with fat alone and no implant.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic  Surgeon.

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

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Breast implants fillew with fat

+1

There are no implants that have the patient's fat in them.  You  may be thinking ot fat grafting to enhance the breast.  This is still pretty experimental with no long term studies showing that this is safe and reliable.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast Implants Filled with Fat?

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Currently breast implants are only filled with either saline or silicone. However directly placing fat into the breasts is a technique that has grown in popularity recently. The technique of fat grafting requires the correct harvesting technique and injection technique to ensure the greatest survival of the transplanted fat cells. There are definite benefits to both traditional breast implants as well as the use of fat. My opinion is that the fat grafting technique works best in women desiring smaller enlargements and for whom silicone is not an option. If selected properly patients undergoing fat transfer to the breasts will be satisfied with the improvement. Best of Luck  Dr Harrell

Jon F. Harrell, DO
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

No Implants for Transfer of Fat

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There are no implants on the market which are made to have fat transferred into them for use as a Breast Implant.  Storing fat inside implants would not be safe, as there would be no nutrients or oxygen to keep the fat from becoming rancid. Many substances have been tried over the decades, and saline and silicone gel have maintained their prominence and longevity for good reason.

Robert N. Young, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Fat grafting not Fat Filled Implants

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You are probably referring to fat grafting for breast augmentation; this is an alternative to breast augmentation with implants. This uses your own fat grafted using microinjection techniques.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Breast Implants do NOT contain Fat

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There are NO fat containing breast implants out there. It has repeatedly been shown ovewr 100 years of experience, that with few exception most things injected into the breast (such as candle wax, glass, nylon sponges, grease, silicone etc) will be poorly tolerated and have to come out. An implant containing peanut oil was briefly allowed on the European market and had to quickly be withdrawn.

While implants containing salt water or silicone gel are safe - there are no good implants with other fillers. On the other hand, if you are willing to have your breast expanded with nightly suction (BRAVA), you may wish to have your breasts augmented with your OWN fat. No implants.

Peter A Aldea, MD

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Fat Not Used in Breast Implants

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Fat is not incorporated into any breast implant - they are made of silicone or saline. Fat may be injected into the breast. This is a separate type of procedure and is still somewhat controversial.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

No breast implants contain fat

+1

Breast implants are either saline filled or silicone gel filled.  There are none filled with fat.  Fat can be injected into the breast but this is still controversial.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.