Natural Breast Transfer for Breast Augmentation?

Hello. I have had a renal transplant for 17 yrs. I am on a high dose of myfortic 360 twice a day. I have been considering doing the fat transfer procedure where they lipo from areas of your body and place them into the breast for augmentation. Aside from a possible infection, would my body reject my own fat?

Doctor Answers 13

Fat transfer for breast augmentation

Your body would not reject your own fat. Autoaugmentation of the breast is an advantageous procedure for women desiring a modest size increase in their breasts but do not wish to undergo an implant augmentation. The viability of the fat is based mainly on how it is harvested, processed, and the vascularity of the tissue it is transferred to. Immunosuppression is unlikely to change the "take" rate of the fat as mechanical disruption and vascular integrity ar far more important in overall success.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Fat aug

This is your own tissue and your body will not reject it and also you are on immunosuppressive agents.The big question might be whether or not you have enough fatty tissue to accomplish this.Maybe a little fat is all you may want.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Natural Breast Transfer for Breast Augmentation?

Your body will not reject your own fat--moving it from one site to another will not elicit an immune response.

Whether or not this is a good option will depend upon an evaluation by a plastic surgeon and by your transplant team. Usually I would suggest using the Realself listing, but in your case I would ask the transplant docs for a referral. 

All the best. 

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

Fat transfer breast augmentation

Dear Cyn,

Your case is a very interesting one and it is obvious that you have given it some serious consideration and research.  Most plastic surgeons would probably caution you about infection risks for breast implants.  Your best option might very well be fat transfer.  The fact is that we don't know what the response to fat transfer is in an immunocompromised patient on a grand scale.  Of course, as mentioned by others you would need the blessing of your transplant/immunology team to proceed.  Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Fat transfer for breast augmentation

As noted by others first and foremost you need to check with your transplant team to see if you are a reasonable candidate for surgery. My guess is that with proper precautions for increased risk of infection etc. you are. That being said fat is not rejected it is reabsorbed to varying degrees which sometimes makes the final outcome hard to determine. It presently still in the investigative stage and if you truly wish to go this route I would make sure my surgeon has a great deal of experience with this technique and comparable results to standard breast augmentation. In your case if cleared for surgery a sub muscular augmentation with a saline prostheses would be the most straightforward and safest approach.

William F. DeLuca Jr, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 184 reviews

Fat transfer for breast augmentation

First things first-speak to your renal specialist about whether you are a candidate for any elective surgery. Next, please understand that the body does not "reject" your own fat but can absorb it differentially. Lipotransfer is not suitable to all patients and factors to be considered include the current size, degree of ptosis and desired outcome.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Fat transfer breast enlargement for kidney transplant patient on immunosuppression?

Thanks for your question and what "sounds" like a reasonable idea for breast augmentation. Let's get a few basics out of the way, first.

Your own tissue is not "rejected" by your own body. This is why skin from one area can be safely transplanted to burned areas of the (same) body, for example. Every plastic surgeon who has worked in a burn unit knows this, and every transplant surgeon knows that any organ from an identical twin requires no anti-rejection drugs--the DNA-identical tissues from your identical twin (or yourself) are not rejected. They could fail to heal, clot vessels, get infected, or fail to "take" due to inadequate circulation, but they are NOT rejected.

The same goes for your own fat. So it sounds like a great idea, right? Not so fast! (Sorry.)

Not all of transferred fat survives; and (depending on harvest technique) some of the fat cells are destroyed obtaining them from the donor site, so what ALWAYS ends up happening is that SOME of the transferred fat is already dead or dies, causing fat cysts, lumps, scar tissue, and even calcifications, all of which can interfere with the detection of breast cancer via mammography. Not to mention causing firm spots or hard areas within the breasts.

Add to that, the fact that your are on immunosuppressive drugs increases your risk of infection, which could damage (kill) even more of the transferred fat, leading to more of the problems listed above.

This is why our national societies (the Board-certified plastic surgery ones) have not yet endorsed breast augmentation via fat grafting as anything other than investigational (experimental). Perhaps it may become mainstream and safe(r) as time and research go on. But for now, I perform fat grafting for other areas of the body where the potential downsides are less than with the breast.

For the breast, implants are still the best option, and would need to be considered carefully in an immunocompromised patient like yourself.

So reject your own fat? NO. But, "natural"? NO as well, and not recommended in your specific case. Ask your transplant surgeon and your plastic surgeon about the advisability and (acceptable or not) risks of submuscular silicone breast implants. Best wishes, and stay well! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Fat transfer breast augmentation and transplant patient

Your own fat should not be rejected, but not all the fat will last in the transfer.  It may need to be repeated. Best to ask your transplant doctor if you can undergo this procedure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Fat transfer for breast augmentation

You would not reject your own fat, but the medications you take do raise the surgical risks in general. And fat transfer augmentation is very limited in how much bigger it can make you. Explore the risks thoroughly with your internist as well as an experienced plastic surgeon and MAKE SURE you are willing to face these risks for a limited size increase.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Fat transfer for breast augmentation

You should first consult with the doctor that follows you regularly to ensure that you are well to undergo the surgery. Your body should not reject your own fat especially with the immune suppressant medications you are on. You have a higher risk of getting an infection after surgery. You also need a sufficient amount of fat to have a breast augmentation with fat only and not all the fat that is injected will survive long term.

Good luck

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.