Fat Transfer for Loose Breast Skin?
Doctor Answers 7
Fat transfer and breast lift combination surgery
There is not a good non-surgical solution to sagging and loose breast skin. A breast lift is a powerful, long-lasting procedure which can fundamentally alter the shape of your breast. I have combined fat grafting with a breast lift to enhance upper and medial pole fullness- for patients that are not interested in an artificial breast implant.
Fat Transfer can hide hollows, not excess skin
Breast lifts are ideal for sagging breasts. i warn you that sagging breasts are the result of sagging breast tissue, not skin. It is for those reasons that I perform a donut mastopexy-Goes lift or a lollipop scar (lejour) lift. Both give excellent long-lasting results.
Fat is not going to improve sagging breast tissue!
Fat transfer has no role in breast lift.
Fat transfer or fat injections are not going to help your loose breast skin. You probably need a vertical internal breast lift with a lollipop scar.
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Fat Transfer and Breast Lifts
The idea that fat can be moved from one part of our body where it can be spared to another where it can fill, inflate and rejuvenate is very seductive. But, as with all apparently simple ideas, it is not that simple.
The reason why breasts are droopy is multi causal. The unifying reasons are that the RATIO of breast SKIN to breast FILL (gland and fat) has increased. With more a larger stretched skin envelope, EVEN IF the "old" fill (breast tissue and fat were unchanged, the breasts will sag much like a wind sock at the airport or a sail boat when the winds die down. Other factors include loss of support by the cables holding the breast anchored to the chest wall (Cooper's Ligaments) which have been stretched or torn.
To correct it our choices are to either REALLY fill the skin envelope (ie VERY large implants or, filler -- a poor choice) OR reduce the size of the envelope with a breast lift (Mastopexy) with or without a breast implant.
The trouble with fat grafts to the breasts is that when large portions of the transferred fat does not make it and die, the resulting scar tissue in the breast MAY make it confusing to SOME radiologists reading mammograms to differentiate it from scarring caused by some breast disease including cancer. Moreover, dead fat can be lumpy and hard and drain for months.
For this reason most Plastic surgeons approach breast fat grafts with great trepidation. It has become more accepted in breast reconstruction, where the original breast was removed for cancer and the fat is added to a Plastic surgeon-built breast, where it is unlikely to mask or misrepresent a breast cancer. BUT, few of us are comfortable transferring large amounts of fat into a normal breast for the reasons above.
I would suggest you see a board certified Plastic surgeon to aid you in your decision making.
Fat transfer is not the best option for loose breast skin
Generally, if your have significant excess of breast skin or droopiness, it will require some skin removal in the form of a lift. Depending on the anatomical changes, breast augmentation with implants may also help.
Fat grafting to the breasts for augmentation is not a fully vetted procedure yet. There are still disagreements among plastic surgeons whether fat grafting to the breasts for augmentation is a safe procedure.
Grafted fat may change in characteristics and it may interfere with breast cancer screening. We will know more as the people experiment with this procedure, but I would caution you to do due diligence.
Fat grafting is an excellent tool for facial enhancement and volume restoration. It can also be used to correct deformities throughout the body. It can be used in conjunction with breast reconstruction after mastectomy (where the breast tissue is removed and so there is no interference with cancer screeing)
Lipoinjections and the BRAVA can be used for "non-surgical" and non-implant breast enhancement
The currentl two most popular non-surgical non-implant breast enlargement techniques are the BRAVA and lipoinjection methods. Recently a paper was published touting the combined use of both modalities with decent results.
In essence, the basic concept is to deflate a collapsed ballon. By filling the breast skin envelope with fat, you can achieve a fuller and inflated breast appearance.
Of course this is a simplification of the procedure and you may want to call different plastic surgeon's offices to see if they perform the procedure.
Fat transfer to breasts
Fat grafting is a very powerful and effective technique to recontour the body. Keep in mind that approximately 20% of the fat that is injected will eventually melt away on its own. When this fat melts away, he will leave tiny deposits of calcium. This can be problematic in the breast. If you receive a fat graft at this time, the small calcium deposits may be noted in a future mammogram. The radiologist may read the small calcium deposits as a sign of cancer and may recommend a biopsy. For this reason, it is best not to receive fat transfer to breasts but to look into the many other excellent options for breast rejuvenation such as a breast lift or a breast lift with small implants. Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon with a great deal of experience in fat grafting techniques as well as the entire armamentarium of breast surgery