Fat Transfer Side Effects
Doctor Answers 23
Natural Breast Augmentation by Fat Transfer - Side Effects and Complications
There are Side Effects and Complications with all surgical procedures and Fat Transfer is no exception. The good news is that side effects and complication rates associated with fat grafting to the breasts are not, overall, unduly high.
Common Risks, side effects and complications include infection, bleeding, fat embolism and graft volume loss; over filling, under filling, asymmetry, fat necrosis, and ectopic calcification among others. Although, there are risks and complications associated with autologous fat grafting, cases of severe complications and death appear to be extremely rare.
Concern regarding the interference of autologous fat grafts with breast cancer detection is not validated by the limited number of studies available on the topic but it appears that radiologists in general can differentiate artifacts from fat transfer and malignancies. However, caution should be used in patients at high-risk for breast cancer including a positive BRCA-1, BRCA-2 and/or personal or familial history of breast cancer.
Results of fat transfer remain dependent on a surgeon’s technique and expertise, therefore make sure your surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Fat grafting to the breast!
Fat grafting is a valuable tool in breast surgery. This technique has gained more popularity over the past 7 years. There are many techniques used to harvest the fat, process the fat and then re-inject the fat. Conventional suction lipectomy is performed with a small diameter cannula, processed by separating the liquid and fibrous tissue from the fat, and then placed into syringes for re-injection or through a closed system.
Fat Transfer Side Effects
A medical literature review yields some major conclusions: (1) Average fat graft retention is 60-70% per procedure; this is dependent on the amount of fat grafted per procedure and, as always, the surgeon’s technique (2) Experienced mammographers have little or no issue distinguishing cancer from micro calcifications or oil cysts. In fact, the breast was left “cleaner”(mammographer readings) after fat grafting when compared to breast reduction. (3) Using my technique, with over 20 years of experience, limiting volume injected per surgery and grafting with 1cc syringes, has optimized graft success and yielded few if any mammographic disturbances (4) The American Society of Plastic Surgeons Fat Grafting Task Force: “Fat grafting may be considered for breast augmentation and correction of defects associated with medical conditions and previous surgeries; however, results are dependent on technique and surgeon expertise” (5) Fat grafting has been done worldwide for many years; including France, Italy and Asia so that the numbers are large and the follow-up is over a long period of time. There is no evidence of any adverse (cancer growth) with fat injections to the breast. (eg. one study by Illouz followed 230 patients for 11.3 years.) (6) Fat grafting has a long history of use in breast reconstruction after breast cancer and there is no evidence of enhanced cancer recurrence. ·
Fat grafting is a lifetime procedure · Breast size(fat cell volume) changes as you change · It is excellent at changing the base diameter(size) of the breast relative to the cheat wall · It is the only way to safely enhance cleavage as submuscular implants are limited to the natural border of the pectoralis major muscle insertion (sternum) and subglandular implants can frequently ripple when placed under thin cleavage skin. · It is the only way to enhance symmetry in cases of scoliosis or rib asymmetries, despite the use of different size implants. · Fat grafting can be accomplished with implants to optimize the size and shape desires of the patient while minimizing rippling and palpability and optimizing symmetry. · Fat grafting can be used to augment the breast in combination with breast lift (mastopexy). · Fat grafting is the ultimate sculpting and aesthetic tool; after all it is what Mother Nature herself chose to use. · Implant augmentation is not without its issues, including capsular contracture, may require internal supportive materials to aid in architectural support, implant leakage, and implant rupture.
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Gentle harvest is the key to avoiding complications.
Nearly all the issues and complications with fat transfer (injection) are related to lipolysis (broken cells) of the injected material. If you break/rupture/damage the fat as you remove it, not amount of good technique is going to provide a good result and the problem rate goes way up. Exposing the harvested fat to the dramatic forces of a liposuction machine is problematic. I prefer to harvest with a syringe technique, controlling the amount of vacuum with my own hands. There is more to fat injection than meets the eye.
Fat transfer to the breasts
Compared to the face fat transfer to the breast has the same risks of even resorption of the fat with potential unevenness, etc. My only negative comment about fat trasfer to the breasts is that don't expect major changes. Increase of cup size of one or more is infrequent. Enhancement and improvement of some areas of the breast is more likely.
Chase Lay, MD
Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon
Fat grafting side effects
fat grafting carries potential risks and complications including lumpiness, rippling, fat atrophy or loss, and asymmetry. In areas of the body where the fat is grafted more superficially such as the lower eyelid skin, these complications can be more noticeable.
Fat grafting to breasts and safety
Hi, fat grafting to the breast is a natural method of breast augmentation, in which fat is suctioned from your abdomen, thighs, or hips, and then transferred into your breasts. The main side effect is that not all of the transferred fat will remain after the initial six months. Recent studies have demonstrated that approximately 60% of the grafted fat will remain permanently, and therefore most patients will require a second grafting session after one year. Other milder side effects include the development of small cysts at the site of the grafted fat, and bruising at the liposuctioned sites. For patients who are looking for a modest (1/2 cup to 1 cup) enlargement, it is a good method for augmentation. Best wishes.
Side effects of fat grafting
Fat based augmentation is a relatively new technique. As it becomes more popular and time goes on we may learn of other complications and side effects.
Fat transfer side effects
Some more serious risks include calcification of fat, oil cysts and scarring. These may be mistaken for cancer on mammograms. However, I have not found this to be a concern for my patients, and the procedure has been able to achieve great results!
Side effects of fat transfer
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.