19 Y/o, 5ft3, 54kg & 34B, Autologous Breast Augmentation (Mother Had Breast Cancer, Not Gene-related), What's my Suitability?

I don't want implants. I know little research has been done. Looking for increase to C/D cup. Medium amount of fat on arms, thighs, flanks, knees, waist. How suitable is each fat type? Which factors prevent resorption & produce long-lasting results? Success rate? Anaesthetic used? Can it affect nerves/milk ducts/ability to breastfeed in future/increase chances of cancer? Can pregnancy/the pill/weightgain affect results or will I remain (proportionally) the same? Can the fat be stored for future?

Doctor Answers 3

Fat graft breast augmentation is NOT recommended!

Fat grafting has been performed for many years and in many different areas of the body. Its popularity really "took off" in the mid 1980's when liposuction began, providing lots of "available" fat that otherwise was discarded. Of course, the most ethical and scientific-minded plastic surgeons realized that the high-vacuum "standard" liposuction aspirate consisted of mostly dead fat cells that had been "boiled" at room temperature because of the extremely high vacuum. Freezing the fat "for later use" further damaged any possibly-intact cells because of ice crystal destruction of the fragile adipocyte cell membrane. So the expensive "grafted" fat was really a slurry of your own dead cells, intracellular lipid (akin to Mazola oil), and fluids. Little or none of this actually survived, but it took a patient's body months to years to fully remove the dead debris.

By then, the "surgeon" was on vacation with your absconded funds! Pretty sad, actually.

Fat grafting can indeed work, but only if harvested carefully under controlled (low-vacuum) atraumatic conditions, and implanted in droplet-by-droplet amounts that allow proper oxygen and nutrition to the transplanted fat cells so they survive. Simply shooting in blobs of mostly-dead fat won't work. And even when done properly, it takes lots of tiny grafts and lots of time (and money) to actually build up volume that can be seen or felt. Some of the fat dies, even under the best and most stringent grafting conditions. Meaning: multiple sessions are virtually always necessary.

Storing fat for use later requires these same stringent harvest conditions, as well as cryopreservatives and liquid nitrogen storage capabilities that are frankly outside the scope of most non-research-oriented plastic surgical practices. Simply putting your liposuction aspirate into the surgical freezer does not work at all! When this fat is used, your body simply ends up removing the dead tissue cell by cell, molecule by molecule, until only scar (and little to no volume increase) and perhaps calcifications remain.

In the breasts, scar tissue and microcalcifications that form when fat grafts die can interfere with the detection of breast cancer via mammogram or other technique. This is the precise reason that fat grafting for breast augmentation is bad at worst, and controversial and potentially bad at best.

There is a reason that the vast majority of ABPS-certified plastic surgeons utilize saline or silicone breast implants for breast augmentation. (And it's not because we're outdated, out-of-touch, or not embracing the "latest and greatest and up-to-datest" developments)! It's because we truly care for the entire well-being of our patients and do not wish to cause them harm that may come to haunt them in years to come. For a woman at age18, I certainly hope you have many years to come! Fat grafting is something every ABPS-certified plastic surgeon is not only aware of, but likely performing in our own practices. But not for breast augmentation.

BTW, "stem cell" augmentation is a new "twist" on BA via fat grafting. It's even more "latest and greatest!" Except in a few rare research instances, "stem cell grafting" is mostly hype by a few practitioners trying to steer more patients like yourself towards their practices.

But, don't take my word for all of this--see several ABPS-certified plastic surgeons and see what they say. Perhaps you will begin to see a consensus emerging! For mor information about the options available to you click on the web reference link below. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Suitability for Breast Augmentation

Hello. When performing an Autologous Breast Augmentation fat from any part of the body can be used, provided that there is enough fat in that area. Unfortunately, you will only be able to increase from a B to a full B or small C using fat grafting. To achieve the results that you are hoping for you will need to consider implants.

Jaime Perez, MD
Breast Augmentation Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Suitability for fat transfer for breast augmentation

Without seeing a photo, I can only guess, and by guess is at your height and weight it is very unlikely that you have enough excess fat to provide for a one and a half cup size increase. 

In the best hands about three quarters of what is injected stays. Preparing the breast with Brava (google it and see) seems to increase the take, but wearing the device is quite cumbersome.  

Most use general anesthesia because of the multiple harvest sites, but some prefer sedation. Long term risks are really unknown at this time. 

Best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 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.