Researching Options of Each Stage of Fat Transfer to Breast.. (Ie: AFT BA!) - Australia
Hey there Team FatTransfer (FT) & interested...
I am posting this because, having spent a good month industriously digging around in some of the farther corners of this amazing website, I have
(a) found it tricky to find a lot of info about fat-transfer to breast (while there is lots of info on FT to face and buttocks, there are about a dozen great reviews on breast augmentation and that seems to be it).
(b) been amazed at the incredibly broad range of options available within what is a relatively narrow field.
(c) Am keen to consolidate the wealth of info that is out there into one succinct area, so thanks Amelia, for the suggestion... here we go!
So this is like my 'review abstract'.. for my PhD submission in Fat Transfer haha!!
From what I've researched so far, the key stages/considerations seem to be:
1 - A Glossary!
First challenge I faced was understanding what on earth half the terms and abbreviations meant so I could make sense of what I was reading!! So first up - a glossary of terms, from AFT (Autologous Fat Transfer, Cytori - a company that specialises in this field, to NBE - Natural Breast Enlargement, ADRC, ADSC, BA...)
2 - Preparation for surgery (some encouraged to get fit and toned, others to eat up to put on weight to create enough fat; iron supplements oxygenate the blood..)
3 - to BRAVA or not to BRAVA, or use some other kind of breast tissue expanding device to (a) create space in the breast for the fat when necessary and (b) vascularise the breast to provide more oxygen to increase fat-cell survival.
4 - Type of liposuction (can make a big difference to fat cell survival rates)
5 - How the fat is processed (centrifuged - HD only or LD too, exposure to air, stem-cell enriched or not, use of PureGraft TM...)
6 - How the fat is re-injected (fat-injecting is apparently not the same as fat-grafting! lipo-injecting, size of cannula, sculpting options, amount reinjected - eg: 300ccs in stages every 6 months, or 700 all at once?!...)
7 - Auxiliary procedures to promote fat-take (massage, PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma, EPO..)
8 - Local or general anesthesia?
9 - Fat banking: having it all removed at once and stored is an option, depending... and the research says...
10 - Choosing a surgeon (Who does what?? & travel might cost a lot extra in the short term, but if the long term results are worth it...)
11 - Recovery experience.. what helps? How long does it take? Strenuous exercise can damage the fat in the first few weeks... Arnica can help with bruising...
12 - FAQs about the procedure (Like 'How long before I know how much of this fat is going to stay? How do FT'ed breasts feel and move? Do they 'drop and fluff' like implants?)
13 - Standard costs? (In the USA, Australia, UK & Europe.. happy for others to add!)
14 - When FT is used to replace implants (Not an issue for me, but it seems there are a number of ladies in this situation which creates special/additional considerations)
15 - When a Breast Lift (mastopexy) is also required - which, from personal experience, is a research thesis in itself, given the exciting range of proprietary 'no scar' and 'internal bra' techniques that a number of surgeons are developing. Decisions made here potentially impact FT results... is it best done at same time? Space it leaves in the breast...
16 - Potential complications specific to FT BA.. cysts, necrosis, reading mammograms..
17 - Apparent advantages of FT over implants (no potential for rippling, capsular contractions, leaching...)16 - Other considerations - consistent feedback from FT ladies (Like.. I wish I had ALL the areas lipo'ed, b/c now fat goes to my breasts, but also to xxx, where I didn't have lipo.)
18 - Any discussion/research areas that I've missed!
My plan is to upload a section on each, so that this can be a down-load point for people to add what they've learned or experienced under each pertinent section. I want to say thanks so much to Colleen3000, Green55, Jenna13, AmeliaGirl, BeagleBaby1, BB, Rockstar69 and so many others of you that I've either read, exchanged PMs with, viewed your questions and reviews and so on - all of you have contributed so much to my journey. I thought my FT decision would be so easy; get on, get feedback, get my procedure done, but I still find myself trawling websites, emailing lipo companies about their technology, comparing surgeon rating sites and so on in an effort to make a decision.
As I said to Amelia a couple of nights ago, I trust that, just as my ultimate body will reveal itself from this fat, so too, the perfect decision for me will reveal itself out of this research. So I hope this blog will help consolidate a bit of the very rich conversation that's already on this site, and offer others who are on or beginning the journey a point of reference too.
This is probably enough to get us started, hey?!
Please add comments or suggestions to make it as user-friendly as possible if you have them, and if the wonderful ladies who have already posted reviews and PMed (that would be Private Message-d, if you're a novice like I was, wondering what on earth that meant :) each other with all sorts of invaluable information and advice would be willing to cut and paste into the relevant sections, hopefully that will help in the consolidation process?
Thanks to all of you, in anticipation of your contributions!!
1 - Glossary of Terms :)
If you want more info on any of the below, you can go to the appropriate section in this blog once it’s posted, search within RealSelf or hit good old Google for a stack of hits…
Acellular dermal matrix products (ADMs) - reputedly help solve the problem of supporting the breast without the side effects of previous internal bra technologies. The graft materials are usually of porcine or human origin that have gone through a complex process of cell elimination so as to not trigger an immune response.
Adipose tissue – fat tissue
Adipose Derived Regenerative Cells – basically stem cells found in fat. All that money people spent ‘banking’ their babies’ umbilical cords for future use? It has since been discovered that there are thousands of times more stem cells in adult fat, and it can regenerate into muscle, blood, tissue, fat… there are all sorts of cutting-edge research projects happening in a range of medical fields using this rich source of stem cells that comes without the same degree of ethical dilemma surrounding those derived from embryos.
Bonus for fat transfer? They can attract/create new blood vessels to the area = higher fat survival rates.
Adipose Derived Stem Cells (ADSCs) – see Adipose Derived Regenerative Cells (ADRCs).. they’re the same thing.
ADM’s – see acellular dermal matrix products
ADRC – see entry for Adipose Derived Regenerative Cells
ADSC – Adipose Derived Stem Cells – same as ADRCs; see entry for Adipose Derived Regenerative Cells
AFT – Autologous Fat Transfer
Autologous Fat Transfer: The use of a person’s own fat harvested from one part of the body and re-deposited somewhere else. (And no, unless you have an identical twin, you can’t use someone else’s fat because your body would reject it. This means it would die and either be re-absorbed or form an oil cyst at best, necrosis at worst. Either way, not a good plan!)
Anchor Lift – a type of breast lift procedure which repositions the nipple and removes excess skin resulting in a lollipop shaped scar – around the nipple and down to the crease. To avoid puckering, excess skin is also removed from under the breast and this scar forms the base of the anchor at the bottom of the lollipop stick and runs along the crease under the breast.
Angiogenesis: the ability to attract new blood vessels into the area; a property of stem cells. This is great for fat transfer procedures because fat then has a higher survival chance.
Axis3 – 3D Scanning software for image creation of intended (usually breast enhancement) procedure outcome. Like Vectra.
BA – Breast Augmentation
BBL – Broadband Laser – used in some skin tightening procedures after lipo and/or weightloss.
Benelli Lift – a type of breast lift which positions scarring around the areola without the vertical scar resulting from the traditional ‘lollipop’ or ‘anchor’ lift.
BioCellLife – Proprietary USA-wide system for Stem cell storage, fat banking, fat grafting and fat transfer. It is already used by a number of Plastic Surgeons and available to all, as it provides off-site storage. See their website for details.
Bodyjet – a type of Liposuction (see the lipo section)
BRAVA – A breast expansion device developed by Dr Khouri in Miami, USA, that consists of a pair of domes placed over the breast. An electric or hand-held pump is used to suction the breasts to increase space for fat and oxygenise the breast to increase the chance of fat cell survival
Breform – a proprietary cone-shaped material, that is surgically placed inside the breast to lift and support; an internal bra. ‘Similar to what is used in hernia operations, it's meant to take the strain off the skin, which after a traditional breast lift can begin to stretch and sag in three years…. It is like a bra cup without the straps," says plastic surgeon Dalvi Humzah. "Over time, the mesh gets incorporated into the breast as the body produces a fibrous tissue that holds the structure in place - like a permanent bra under the skin."- http://www.neatorama.com/2010/02/08/surgically-implantable-bra/
Cellution – A proprietary machine used to process the fat harvested before re-insertion (made by Cytori).
Circumareolar – around the areola.. such as a donut or Benelli breast lift or mastopexy
Conscious sedation – same as Twilight sedation: a type of anaesthetic technique where a mild dose of general anaesthesia is applied to induce anxiolis (anxiety relief), hypnosis, and anterograde amnesia (inability to form new memories). The patient is not unconscious, but sedated. During surgery or other medical procedures, the patient is under what is known as a "twilight state", where the patient is relaxed and "sleepy", able to follow simple directions by the doctor, and is responsive. Generally, twilight anesthesia causes the patient to forget the surgery and the time right after.’ (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Cosmetic Surgeon (CS) – A physician who performs cosmetic procedures, but is NOT a Plastic Surgeon, who has much more specialised training in the field of plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is purely to enhance appearance; plastic surgery is reconstructive to address defects of function or form (eg, deviated septum, masectomy, etc). Plastic surgery can often do both, and so is cosmetic and reconstructive at the same time.
CS - Cosmetic Surgeon: See entry
Cytori – A company that specialise in stem-cell based therapies, including harvesting, experimenting and developing tools and therapies to this end.
Fat Bank – a facility that stores fat in cryo(freezing) conditions – see dedicated section on this.
Donut mastopexy – same as a Benelli breast lift
FT – Fat Transfer
GA – General anaesthetic – where you’re knocked out for the duration of the procedure
HydraSolve – a type of Liposuction (see the lipo section when it’s up) – developed by Andrew Technology specifically for the purposes of fat transfer procedures. Uses TLT – Tissue Liquefecation Technology, and claims to leave nerves, blood-vessels, skin and other non-target tissue unscathed relative to traditional lipo.
Internal bra – one of several different internal structures that can be surgically placed within the body to support the breast such as ‘Breform’, Refine, SSL, Reynolds-Serdev technique.
LA – Local anaesthetic – where the area under operation is numb, but you are conscious, and can interact with the surgeon, give feedback about the procedure and your results.
LipoBank – Fat storage facility
LipoCollector – proprietary storage system used for harvesting fat during lipo procedure
Lipotite – a type of Liposuction (see the lipo section!)
LiquidGold – A proprietary Fat Bank owned by Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeffrey Hartog in Florida, in collaboration with Cytori
Lollipop Lift – a type of breast lift procedure which repositions the nipple and removes excess skin resulting in a lollipop shaped scar – around the nipple and down to the crease.
Mastopexy – Breast Lift
NBE – Natural Breast Enhancement or Enlargement
NaturalBreast™ - A proprietary fat transfer breast augmentation which is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia
Necrosis – tissue death – in the breast, an extreme condition because it’s such a delicate organ.
Neopec - involves implanting a breast-shaped biodegradable chamber into the chest before surgeons redirect blood vessels into the chamber with the patient's own fat cells. A gel is inserted to help the cells multiply over four to six months, and the chamber dissolves when the new breast is fully formed.
Oncologic – the branch of medicine that deals with tumors and cancers, including study of their development, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. The breast is apparently the most oncologic organ in the female body.
PAL – Power-assisted Liposuction – a type of Liposuction (see the lipo section)
Plastic Surgeon (PS).. some are Board Certified, others are not. NOT the same as Cosmetic Surgeons (CS), who are often licensed to perform many of the same procedures. CSs are often Doctors (dermatologists, GPs, etc) with general training but who do not have training in reconstructive surgery and other specialised areas that Plastic Surgeons do. Cosmetic surgery is purely to enhance appearance; plastic surgery is reconstructive to address defects of function or form (eg, deviated septum, masectomy, etc). Plastic surgery can often do both, and so is cosmetic and reconstructive at the same time.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – Blood is extracted, put through a centrifuge and the rich in platelets is drawn off and injected back into the body. Has traditionally been used with soft tissue injury recovery, then cosmetic surgery (sometimes marketed as the ‘Vampire Facial’), and now used by some AFT practitioners in an effort to increase fat cell survival, healing rates and skin tone of the breast (see Auxiliary Procedures)
PM – Private Message: you can contact anyone on the Forum privately, by clicking on the button on their profile, as opposed to a public exchange by using the ‘reply’ function on posts.
PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma
PS – Plastic Surgeon – See entry
Ptosis – Breast sag.. which often benefits from a mastopexy, or breast lift
Refine Support System: an internal breast lift tool using a soft and flexible suture-mesh-anchor system that supports soft tissue internally maintaining upper breast tissue fullness to avoid "bottoming out" effect
RejuveFill™ - A proprietary Stem Cell Enhanced Natural breast augmentation
Reynolds – Serdev Technique: lifts the deep moveable subcutaneous breast tissue by anchoring it to non-movebale tissue (fascia which covers the muscle, periosteum which covers the bone, or the bone itself) by approximately 1-2 inches via a scarless puncture wound.
SCAFT – StemCellActivatedFaT: Used by Dr Darryl J Blinski in Miami (and others?) Don’t know if this is a proprietary procedure or just a catchy name devised for the same procedure.
Sciton BBL SkinTyte – Skin tightening procedure that can be done on loose skin after weightloss and/or lipo
SkinTyte – see Sciton BBL SkinTyte
SSL - Suture Suspension Lift
Suture Suspension Lift (SSL) – internal sutures used to anchor loose tissue (breast or elsewhere) to the fascia for the purposes of lifting. Eg – the Reynolds – Serdev Technique
Thermage - a skin tightening procedure that is an option after lipo and/or weightloss.
Titan - a skin tightening procedure that is an option after lipo and/or weightloss.
Twilight anesthesia – same as Twilight sedation:
Twilight sedation – ‘is a type of anesthetic technique where a mild dose of general anesthesia is applied to induce anxiolis (anxiety relief), hypnosis, and anterograde amnesia (inability to form new memories). The patient is not unconscious, but sedated. During surgery or other medical procedures, the patient is under what is known as a "twilight state", where the patient is relaxed and "sleepy", able to follow simple directions by the doctor, and is responsive. Generally, twilight anesthesia causes the patient to forget the surgery and the time right after.’ (courtesy of Wikipedia)
UAL – Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction – a type of Liposuction (see the lipo section)
UBL – Ultimate Breast Lift – a proprietary technique that leaves no visible scars - developed by Dr Gary Horndeski in Texas
Ultimate Breast Lift (UBL) – a proprietary technique that leaves no visible scars - developed by Dr Gary Horndeski in Texas
Ultrasonic Assisted Liposuction (UAL) – a type of Liposuction (see the lipo section)
Vascularise – to increase the growth/development of blood vessels, and therefore oxygen supply: in the breast, vascularity is important for the new fat cells being introduced because it increases their survival chances.
Vaser – a type of Liposuction (see the lipo section)
Vectra – 3D Scanning software for image creation of intended (usually breast enhancement) procedure outcome. Like Axis3.