Fat grafting is a novel technique that may be used to naturally augment or accentuate the breasts. It is essentially taking fat from one area on the body and transferring it to another area. For example, fat can be transferred to the breasts for a natural augmentation, to correct asymmetry, assist in disguising a palpable implant or accentuate a reconstruction. Additionally, fat can be used to rejuvenate and restore other areas of the body, such as aging hands, sagging or deflated buttocks, or defects (dimpling, indentations) from previous liposuction.
To begin, donor tissue is harvested via liposuction from areas with unwanted fat, such as the thighs, abdomen, or flanks. The fat cells are then prepared and injected into the breasts, sculpting the area to a desired shape and size.
As the transferred fat is living tissue, it will adhere to the existing cells. Most women will retain from 50-80% of the fat from each procedure. (Can anything be done perioperatively to increase percentage of fat that takes?) Most procedures can increase breast size by a half to a full cup, and it can be repeated for greater results.
Depending on the breast size desired, more than one fat transfer procedure may be necessary. On some occasions, it may be appropriate to use fat transfer along with a breast implant to obtain a fuller, voluminous chest.
During the initial postoperative period, there will be a lot of swelling in both the areas from which the fat was harvested, as well as the areas to which the fat was injected. It is important to appreciate this, as some individuals may mistake this initial swelling for the final result. The majority of the swelling will dissipate over the first few weeks, and at 6-months post-op, a final result can truly be observed.
The end result is subtle, yet significant, and completely natural.
The BRAVA system is an adjunct that can be used preoperatively for procedures involving fat transfer to the breast. This is an external suction device system that is used to help create an ideal environment for the fat once it is placed in the breast. The BRAVA device is worn for 10-14 hours per day for several weeks prior to the procedure. By providing continuous gentle suction to the breasts, it opens the breast pocket, creating a larger space for the harvested fat.
Aesthetic issues that can arise following a breast augmentation or reconstruction with implants include rippling and the ability to see or feel the implants. While adjusting or exchanging the implants, or using a dermal graft or muscle to cover the implant, may correct this, fat grafting can be a great option as well.
Additionally, fat transfer can be utilized to improve or correct contour irregularities or asymmetry following a lumpectomy or radiation for breast cancer treatment.
A consultation can guide you in determining if you are a candidate and if this is an appropriate method for you.
For individuals seeking breast augmentation with fat-grafting (also referred to as ‘Natural Breast Augmentation’) an external suction system, BRAVA, can be worn preoperatively to expand the breast pocket. This is theorized to establish an ideal environment for fat to be placed.
A fat transfer involves the removal of fatty tissue from a donor area, which is then purified, and injected into the target area, restoring natural-looking volume.
Fat tissue can be used to beautifully recreate a breast after a mastectomy. The fat transfer results in a soft, sculpted breast with very minimal scarring.
The fat transfer procedure will take from two to three hours to perform. This includes time for the Liposuction procedure, purification of the fatty tissue, and the sculpting of the breast.
Dr. Schwartz will begin the fat transfer process by gently extracting fatty tissue from a donor area. Using an innovative process, Dr. Schwartz will prepare and purify the fat cells. Finally, he will inject the fatty tissue into the breast, sculpting the area to the desired size
Dr. Schwartz will remove the fatty tissue from a donor area elsewhere on your body, such as the abdomen, thighs, flanks (love handles), or lower back.
Depending on your desired results, more than one fat transfer session may be required. These will normally be performed over a two to six month period.
Most women feel well enough to return to work or school less than a week after their procedure. Vigorous exercise and strenuous lifting should be avoided for at least four to six weeks.
While rare, the potential risks from a fat transfer include infection, scarring, bleeding, nerve damage, and fat necrosis.
No, a small needle will be used to insert the fatty tissue into the breast, the technique does not result in any visible scarring.