How is fat grafting/transfer for breast enhancement/augmentation done?
Fat grafting for breast augmentation consists of two separate procedures done on the same day.
The First Procedure – Removing Fat Tissue
- You are administered the required dosage of local anesthesia.
- The doctor then manually removes fat tissue from parts of your body where fat is not desired such as, thighs, belly, and buttocks through liposuction, which is minimally invasive.
The Second Procedure – Fat Tissue Is Injected Into Breasts
- The harvested fat tissue is processed; which involves separating unwanted components such as blood, oil, and water.
- Following that, the doctor injects the fat tissue with the help of very fine needles into the areas of the breasts which need enhancement. The fat cells are injected into multiple areas of the breasts to enhance the results of the fat transfer.
Are there any side effects of fat transfer for breast enhancement/augmentation?
Fat transfer or grafting for breast augmentation/enhancement is an area in which extensive studies need to be conducted still. This procedure is currently not FDA approved.
Some side effects that have been observed are:
- formation of oil cysts or calcification which can occur if the injected fat cells do not survive in the breasts. This can happen as the breast tissue is very different from fat. For injected fat to survive in the breast tissue, the fat has to be very carefully and evenly distributed. When calcifications occur, they can be seen on mammograms, which may interfere with breast cancer detection.
- stimulation of cell growth by the fat cells after the fat cells are injected, which doctors fear may cause dormant breast cancer cells to grow.
- the injected fat cells may get reabsorbed by the body, which may result in the loss of breast volume over time. This is usually a long-term effect.
Other risks include:
- the general risks of anesthesia
- risks of infection
- achieving a lesser breast size than expected
More than one session may be needed in some cases to achieve the desired shape and size of the breast.
After a fat transfer, there will be bruising, swelling, and some discomfort which may last a couple of days or upto two weeks.
What are the pre and post-procedure guidelines related to fat transfer for breast enlargement?
Prior to the surgery:
- if you are on blood thinners, you will be asked to stop taking them at least 10-15 days.
you will also be advised to stop smoking at least two weeks.
After undergoing a fat transfer for breast augmentation, it is advisable to:
- avoid vigorous physical activity including exercises and sexual activity for up to four weeks after the procedure
- avoid lying on your stomach for the first two to three weeks after the procedure
You will be required to wear compression garments on the liposuction sites and sports bras for 4-6 weeks after the surgery.
How long will it take to recover from a fat grafting for breast augmentation/enhancement procedure?
- As with most treatments, the recovery period after this procedure varies from patient to patient.
- You can return to work after around two weeks of the surgery, i.e. if it is a desk job.
- Strenuous exercises can be resumed after a month of the surgery.
- The overall healing time can be anywhere between 2-4 weeks.
Are the results of fat grafting for breast augmentation/enhancement permanent?
If done correctly, the results of fat transfer for breast augmentation are permanent. The fat that remains after 6 months is considered to be permanent.
The key is to find a well-qualified and highly experienced surgeon.