It sounds like a dream come true: unwanted fat removed from one part of the body and injected into to another where more volume is desired. We’ve seen great results with the Brazilian Butt lift. Fat transfer breast augmentation is a similarly appealing procedure because it combines liposuction with breast enhancement, essentially replacing an implant with natural tissue. But is it too good to be true?
Well, as is often the case with breast augmentation, part of it depends on the patient and her objectives. There are some limitations that come with this type of surgery and it’s not suitable for every patient. If a patient doesn’t have a sufficient amount of body fat to begin with, for example, there won’t be enough tissue that can be harvested to create more volume. Enlargement is typically limited to one cup size at the most and the result achieves a very minimal amount of lift when compared with a breast implant.
The fat injection is made up of both living and dead cells. The dead cells are sometimes dissolved by the body’s white blood cells, but they can also cause inflammatory reactions and fatty cysts to form, and they sometimes lead to lumpiness and calcium formations. We need more long-term studies to determine what kind of effect this might have on mammograms and breast cancer diagnosis. There are other associated complications with this kind of procedure, including loss of injected material over time and unpredictable results.
There are also risks and complications associated with traditional breast augmentation using implants, but they tend to be very rare. The results are more predictable and cost less than fat transfer breast augmentation. We have also seen so much research and so many long and short-term studies for breast implants that we can be really confident that they are safe and effective. At The Plastic Surgery Clinic, we perform over 400 breast augmentation surgeries a year. I see consistently excellent results and I get to enjoy working with consistently satisfied patients. For all of these reasons, breast enlargement with saline or silicone implants tends to be a much more reasonable choice for most patients.
So is it too good to be true? Only time will tell.