4 Reasons Fat Transfer Won’t Completely Replace Implants


Fat transfer breast augmentation is a two-step procedure that uses the patient’s own fat cells to augment the breasts, resulting in a natural increase in volume that many women prefer over breast implants.
While either fat transfer breast augmentation or augmentation with implants can create excellent results, the two procedures are inherently different and candidates will have different considerations depending on which approach they choose. Although fat transfer has a devoted fan base that swear by the results that are possible with this more natural option, there are a few notable reasons why breast implants will likely always remain popular among augmentation patients.

1. Not All Surgeons Offer Fat Transfer While nearly all plastic surgeons offer breast augmentation with implants, a minority of surgeons offer fat transfer as a breast augmentation option. This is because the technique is not as well known or widely practiced as augmentation with breast implants. Fat transfer is a more complex approach because it requires both liposuction and fat transfer. Additionally, contouring the breasts with fat injections in a way that’s symmetrical, flattering and appears natural requires a particularly skillful hand.

2. Predicting Exact Outcome Can Be Difficult The results of any kind of fat transfer can be difficult to predict. After fat is harvested from one area of the body and injected into another, an estimated 50 percent of the transferred fat will reabsorb into your bloodstream, meaning that only about half of the fat transferred will successfully integrate into your breast tissue. Fat transfer augmentation results can be improved with the use of expansion devices, but even so, the exact outcome will vary from patient to patient. What’s more is that patients won’t see their results for several months after the procedure as the transferred fat cells are slowly integrated into the body.
Women interested in a boost to their breast volume who don’t mind a bit of wiggle room as far as their exact results might be excellent candidates for fat transfer breast augmentation, but those seeking a more predictable outcome may do better with implants.

3. Only a Limited Size Increase Is Possible While women who opt for breast implants can increase their breast size substantially if they like, fat transfer breast augmentation patients can typically only increase their breast volume by up to one cup size. For this reason, many women interested in achieving a significantly larger breast size that still looks and feels as natural as fat transfer augmentation may choose to get breast implants first and later touch up their results with fat transfer for smoother, softer contours.
Since fat transfer augmentation on its own will only provide patients with a subtle boost in breast volume, the procedure offers an ideal option for women interested in a natural-looking size increase or breast implant patients hoping to combine augmentation methods.

4. Not Everyone Is a Candidate While nearly any woman can be a candidate for breast augmentation with implants, fat transfer augmentation requires a more specific body type. Because fat transfer harvests the patient’s fat cells from select donor areas, particularly thin women may not be good candidates for the procedure. The best donor areas are usually the hips and flanks, although fat can also be harvested from other areas like the thighs or upper arms. For some women, the slimming effect of the fat harvest is an additional advantage to fat transfer, but for others with very little body fat, implants may be the only option.

5. So Why Choose Fat Transfer? Despite the fact that implants are here to stay there are many reasons why patients are increasingly interested in this option. First and foremost is the desire to avoid implants altogether at any cost. Another is the fear about rupture and the need for ongoing follow up visits and radiologic examinations as well as the nearly 100% inevitability of revisionary procedures. Fat transfer is unique in that in can achieve localized fullness of the breast. An implant accomplishes global fullness of the breast only.
This is an advantage when it comes to achieving breast cleavage in thin patients, correcting pectus excavatum, selectively augmenting the lower pole of a constricted or tuberous breast, filling a biopsy/lumpectomy depression and more. These are only a few of the advantages of fat transfer over implants. Selecting a surgeon who is comfortable providing all options will offer you the opportunity to choosing an operation which best accommodates your personal needs. Dr. Placik has performed thousands of breast augmentation procedures and is ready to offer his expertise and guidance in helping you in the decision making process.
Article by
Chicago Plastic Surgeon