Is Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation Better Than Implants?


New techniques are constantly being developed to increase the number of options available to women considering breast augmentation. “Scarless” procedures and injection of your very own fat cells into your breasts are several examples of the advancements that have occurred in plastic surgery over the past few years. However, as with any medical development, their use may not be ideal for everyone.

Fat Transfer Basics The cosmetic surgery field is abuzz with the concept of using fat cells instead of implants for breast enlargement. Many patients hear about the chance for a more “natural” breast augmentation and have plenty of questions about how the procedure works.

Fat transfer augmentation is a simple procedure. First, liposuction is performed on a specific area of the body to provide some basic contouring while collecting the necessary fat cells for the enlargement. Common regions for this treatment include the thighs, buttocks, upper abdomen or love handles. After the fat cells are removed, they’re carefully processed before being injected back into the breast tissue.

A fat transfer augmentation can seem like a win-win scenario: you can get a better-contoured figure while increasing the size of your breasts at the same. Unfortunately, the procedure isn’t always that straightforward. Overall proportionality will need to be taken into account, and some women’s bodies are better suited to the procedure than others.

Women with small breasts are often naturally slim, making it difficult for your surgeon to collect the necessary number of fat cells with liposuction. The amount of fat that must be collected is usually double the amount used in the injection—creating problems for slender women who want larger than average breasts.

Most of the collected fat cells die off during processing and transfer, sometimes making repeat treatments necessary. This is one of the drawbacks to the fat transfer procedure. Women looking to substantially increase the size of their breasts likely won’t achieve their desired results through fat transfer as the procedure just can’t offer the more dramatic results that implants can. Additionally, fat cells that die off can sometimes create fatty cysts, uneven lumpiness, or unpleasant immune responses that result in calcium formation. These calcified deposits can create inaccurate results during mammograms and must be monitored carefully.

Modern Alternatives Surgeons are constantly on the lookout for the best augmentation option that will provide amazing results with minimal risks—a tall order for fat transfer to fill. While the contouring offered by fat transfer can create great looking results, the procedure has its drawbacks. Fortunately, there are plenty of proven alternatives already in place to allow women to customize their procedure to their needs.

Implants come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes to make sure your figure ends up looking just the way you want. Implant profiles (or the amount the implant will extend from the chest wall) come in low, medium and high to accommodate different body types and preferences. The surface of the implants can be either textured or smooth to provide varying levels of stability in the breast pocket. Cohesive silicone gel implants, sometimes called "gummy bear implants," are another option. These implants are designed to maintain their integrity even if punctured or torn. This means that this particular type of implant will never wrinkle or leak gel, even when the implant is compromised.

Whichever technique or implant you choose, one thing is clear: there are plenty of safe and effective options available for full personalization of your breast augmentation.
Article by
Chicago General Surgeon