Can You Replace Breast Implants with Stem Cell Fat Transfer?

I was told this can only be done in two separate operations 6 months apart. The first to remove the implant and rebuild the muscle and once that's healed we can proceed with the fat transfer. I'm hesitant because I don't want to live with deflated breasts for that long. Any other options?

Doctor Answers 4

Fat grafting instead of breast implants

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There are some early results that some doctors are showing with fat injection to the breast which may be promising, but I do not think that it will replace breast implants in most patients.  It may require several procedures and cost a lot more money than implnats.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Can You Replace Breast Implants with Stem Cell Fat Transfer?

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It depends on the type of implant: silicone or saline. I recently completed this on a patient and removed 250cc implants and in two operations have added a toltal oof 300 cc which has survived (total of 700 injected)

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast Augmentation with Fat Grafts is far from perfected yet

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Unless there is a reason why you need to have your implants removed, I would advise you not to do so. Breast Augmentation with fat grafting is in its infancy and is far from being an established technique. It is used either in first time breast augmentations or in breast reconstruction. The breasts need to be prepared for grafting with several weeks of being subjected to high vacuum (a device called BRAVA) which literally creates more blood vessels in the breasts. A lot of women do not tolerate this stage. Then, fat is removed and injected just under the skin of the breast. Not all the fat makes it and a very large predictable enlargement is not possible.

The procedure will continue to improve over the years but at this time is no match to the capability and predictability of implant breast augmentation.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Fat transfer not a viable option for implant replacement

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Although a lot of progress has been made in techniques for fat transfer to enlarge the breasts, it has not been used for one-stage implant replacement. When fat is grafted into the breasts, whether it has stem-cells or not, it must be placed in tiny droplets spread throughout healthy tissue that has a blood supply so the fat cells can live. An implant is one large mass, so you can't just remove it and fill the space with fat. That is why you need the healing time after implant removal. Also, whether or not you can get back to the same size will depend on the size of the implants; most are much larger than the quantity of fat that can be predictably grafted in 1 or 2 sessions. You didn't mention why you wanted to remove the implants. There are very good options for revising breasts with implants so it would be a rare situation in my opinion that justifies the plan that you are describing.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 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.