Saline Direct Injection 700 CCs to Breast to Stretch Tissue During Fat Graft Consult, is This Safe?

Hi, I recently went in for a fat graft to breast consult and was told my tissue was too tight and that I could stretch the tissue with a saline injection. I agreed, knowing saline is a safe substance, and was shortly injected with 350 ccs of saline to each breast (700ccs total). The dr did it himself, there are 3 puncture marks on each breast, sterile needles and local anesthesia was used. By the evening, all the saline had been reabsorbed by my body. Are there any dangers to this?

Doctor Answers 11

Saline injections into breasts

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Injecting saline directly into breasts is safe but very temporary.  The saline will be quickly absorbed by your body, and any stretching obtained will also quickly resettle.  Using the Brava system, you can obtained better prestretching of your breasts.  Some women have too small and too tight of tissue for fat transfer.  Just because it can be shoved there does not mean it should be.  You may be one who will need a series of fat grafting, or best treated with breast implants.

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Saline Direct Injection 700 CCs to Breast to Stretch Tissue During Fat Graft Consult, is This Safe?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Never heard of this option before. Either use the Brava or have serial fat grafting surgeries. I agree with the use of Dr Del Vecchio in Boston, see what he says. 

Saline injections and stretching the skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This can only give you an idead of what you may look like with the additional volume. Sicne the water absorbs so qucikly, I doubt that it would have an substantial long term effects.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Saline injections to breasts

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi, saline injection to the breasts is safe, especially if sterile technique is used as was done in your case.  However, as you noted in your own case, saline reabsorbs very quickly, and will not provide long-term expansion of the breast tissues.  Some surgeons will inject saline to give patients an idea of how they might appear following surgery.  The Brava system, which unfortunately is no longer available, was the most effective way of stretching the tissues to accommodate volume from fat grafting.  At this time, I recommend to patients that they have smaller amounts injected, which may require two or more surgeries to achieve their final volume.  Best wishes.

Saline breast injection

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
This type of procedure received some press within the last year as the "24 hour breast augmentation". As you saw, the results are short lived. Fat transfer in tight breasts typically requires a series of transfers to achieve optimal results. You can see several examples of this on the web page referenced below. I think you will receive better results with a staged procedure than with saline. 

Sarah A. Mess, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Saline injections for temporary breast enhancement

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I use saline that I slowly inject into the breast as an office visit procedure also. I fill the breasts up to whatever size the patient wishes. This slowly does disappear over a day or so but gives the patient an idea of what she will look like as well as maybe even helps her fill out her wedding dress for that special day! My patients like it and I get a better idea of what size implant they would prefer. I have been doing the same for cheek and chin implants for many years.
   This should not stretch the breasts for it is very temporary.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

700 CCs to Breast to Stretch Tissue During Fat Graft Consult

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Yes, it is safe.  Whether or not it is effective is a different question.

In the growing field of breast enlargement via fat injections, the question of adequate excess skin as become an issue.  This is also an issue with breast implants but you can usually put in at least a small implant and expect that it will remain as a small enlargement.  With fat injections, though, tight skin appears to lead to faster resorption of that fat.

As such, expanding the skin prior to the fat injections is appropriate and has proved beneficial.  There are different ways to do this but many surgeons use a vacuum bra set-up (such as the Brava system) to "pull" the skin out and allow enough room for the fat to be inserted under minimal tension.  That approach is probably preferable to direct saline injections, and mostly for the reason you cite - it just doesn't last long enough.  It is most likely not, however, harmful.  And, as always, there are many different ways to do things, and very few absolutes.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Fat Grafting to the Breasts

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hello SamyOrien,

If you are considering this procedure, you should have it performed by Dr. DelVecchio in Boston.  He is one of the leading scientists and professor at Harvard involved in this newly evolving technique.  He utilizes a 'vacuum bra' to stretch the tissues out.  Regardless, this is a very involved process requiring a lot of time on your part to be down and not fully functioning.  Fat grafting is difficult to quantify and unreliable, in the best of hands.  Breast augmentation utilizing breast implants is reliable, quantifiable, effective, and most importantly safe.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Saline injection to breast

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
I don't see any benefit to this as it won't stretch the breast at all and the saline will be gone in a few hours. The Brava would make more sense and does work.

Saline Injection to Breast

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Based on what you describe, this should not hurt you or your breasts. Many surgeons do a similar thing when they injection tumescent fluid during a breast reduction.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 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.