Breast Augmentation and Plastic Surgery Procedures which use Liposuction and Fat Grafting (Fat Transfer) methods.
If you don’t know much about Fat Grafting (Autologous Fat Transfer plastic surgery techniques), now is the time to do so. Fat Grafting is fast becoming a popular technique used in several different Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures. In this blog, Maven interviewed our Team’s female plastic surgeon, Dr Rebecca Wyten, about Fat Grafting to Breasts – also known as Autologous Fat Transfer (AFT).
Fat Grafting is a potential solution for Breast Enlargement without Breast Implants.
It uses YOUR own body fat cells, harvested via liposuction, to reduce other areas of the body and move the processed cells to help increase your cup size or shape your breast cleavage. But only small changes may be possible, and multiple procedures may be required, so sometimes silicon implants are still your best bet for augmentation. It really depends on what you’re wanting to achieve, and what your physique is like in terms of body fat, fat distribution and proportion goals.
You can now use fat transfer methods, using liposuction for body fat harvesting, for:
- Breast Augmentation – to restore breast fullness and shape following pregnancy, breastfeeding, ageing or extreme weight loss
- Filling out an ageing face which may have a sunken appearance (Facial Rejuvenation with or without a facelift or eyelid lift).
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What is Fat Grafting (Autologous Fat Transfer)?
Fat Transfer, also known as fat injections or autologous fat transfer, is an innovative and delicate procedure used by Specialist Plastic Surgeons to transfer fat from an extra supply to an area such as your breasts or face, where you want to achieve a slightly larger or more shapely breast appearance.
It can also help cover the edges of an implant in patients who are very thin or have little natural glandular tissue to cover the breast implant areas.
Where on the body does fat get taken from (harvested) for use in fat grafting as a form of breast enlargement surgery?
Fat is often transferred from areas such as your belly, buttocks or thighs, where women may sometimes have excess fat stores. The excess fat from areas such as can then be transferred to parts of the body which may have experienced a loss in volume, such as your breasts or face.
The process of Fat Grafting must only be done in an area that actually requires fat. Simply put, you wouldn’t transfer fat to an area that needs collagen rather than fat. This is because the two types of tissue are different – collagen is structural, whereas fat gives cushion. A cushion does not provide structure, the same way structural material will not give cushioning
Why do patients want fat grafting or breast enlargement?
- A loss of volume in the breast tissue can often occur after pregnancy, breast feeding or substantial weight loss.
- This loss of tissue can cause the breasts to deflate – the fat dwindles, and since the breasts are primarily made of fat, a deflated, shrunken appearance can be a cause of concern for many women.
- The changes to the body that occur after pregnancy or dramatic weight loss can be a shock for many women, and may cause a loss in self-confidence.
- It can be frustrating to see that certain areas of the body, such as breasts, which may once have been shapely and pert, are now sagging and deflated.
- So investigating breast augmentation options, including fat transfer methods or combined breast-lift surgery with breast implants, is often a natural outcome when a woman is unhappy with her breast appearance.
Results may vary from patient to patient, although fat transfer procedures may help to give back the volume and shape you have lost from your breasts over time, without the use of Breast Implants.
Breast Surgery using Autologous Fat Transfer: How does it work?
What Happens During Fat Transfer?
The process of fat transfer involves three basic steps:
- Extracting your body’s fat (from excess fat stores in the tummy, buttocks or thighs)
- Processing the fat
- Re-injecting the fat into the required area
Step 1: Extracting your own fat using Liposuction
The first step of the process is the extraction of your own body’s fat via liposuction. The fat is often extracted from the hips, thigh or abdomen, where some women may often have an excess supply. This procedure usually only requires a local Anaesthetic.
You Get Stem Cells Right Where You Want Them with Fat Transfer
There’s an advantage that occurs from fat transfer that many people may not know about; the fat from your own body is full of stem cells. Stem cells are the precursor cells that are able to become whatever cells are needed in the body. If stem cells are injected into an area that needs extra volume, then you will eventually have brand new baby cells that grow to be strong and healthy.
Step 2: Processing your fat prior to transfer
The second part of the fat transfer procedure is processing the fat. With centrifugal force (fast spinning), the fat that has been taken out of your body is spun down so that the fat and stem cells are skimmed off. This processed fat will make up the injection that is then inserted into the fat cells within your intended location, such as the breasts or face.
Step 3: Injecting the fat into the required area
The third and final step of the fat transfer process is injecting the fat back into the body. The fat is injected into the intended location and as time goes on, the transferred fat takes hold within the body and new circulation appears. Before too long, it is functional tissue. You can expect to see changes within two weeks of the procedure.
Fat Transfer requires Surgical Skill and Liposuction expertise
Fat Transfer, especially when used for Breast Enhancement surgery is a very delicate procedure, therefore it requires a highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeon with experience in Liposuction and the Fat Re-Injection process.
Dr Wyten, now available at our Melbourne based Clinics, pursued advanced Plastic Surgery training in Australia, New York and France. She has worked alongside some of the world’s top Fat Grafting Specialists for Breast Enlargement procedures. “Fat transfer may not be for everyone,” she notes, “as it’s best for small cup size improvements rather than for significant breast enlargement. But if you’re the right candidate for it, it’s an option you might consider for adding a bit more projection or slightly enhanced cleavage. Plus you can contour and shape two or more areas of the body at once, if you’re seeking liposuction as part of a thigh, buttocks or abdominal contouring procedure.”
The fat that is taken from your body, is transferred as living tissue graft and will continue to survive and grow in the breast provided that the local biological conditions are suitable.
If however, too much under-processed fat is transferred into your tissue, not all of the fat may survive; and because each patient is different, there’s a risk of lumpiness or an uneven appearance in some cases. It’s important to understand this before you proceed and to know that everyone is different.
To avoid undesirable results as well as any complications, artistic skill, experience and judgement are required. Results vary from patient to patient, although your personal objectives may also influence whether or not fat transfer is the right method to achieve the look you are aiming for when choosing to undergo Breast Enhancement surgery.
Are you a suitable candidate for Breast Enlargement or Cleavage Shaping Surgery using Fat Transfer?
- You will need to have excess fat that can be removed by Liposuction.
- You expect only a modest increase in bra cup size and shape, or solution to minor Breast Asymmetry problems.
- You are willing to be realistic about the possible outcomes and understand that multiple procedures may be required to achieve the volume and shape you require.
- You understand you will need to be guided by your Specialist Plastic Surgeon; this may not be the correct Surgery for you, Breast Implants or a Breast Lift may be required to get the look you want.
For further information about Fat Grafting and Autologous Fat Transfer, read some of our other articles to help gain a better understanding of what is involved and whether this procedure is a good option for you.
Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons can help you with any questions you may have about Fat Grafting & Fat Transfer and how it may best work for you.
If you are interested in Fat Grafting or Autologous Fat Transfer performed by a FRACS qualified Plastic Surgeon, please complete a confidential enquiry form below. Or you can schedule your consultation with Dr Wyten by phoning a Patient Care Coordinator on (03) 8849 1444.
Visit our Downloadable Guides pages
For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.